Monday, 29 April, 2024 | 14:00 | Room 402 | Applied Micro Research Seminar

Simon Wiederhold (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg) "Early Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Gender Equality: A Randomized Controlled Trial"

Prof. Simon Wiederhold

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Authors: Simon Wiederholde, Henning Hermesa, Marina Krauß, Philipp Lergetporer, Frauke Peter

Abstract: We provide experimental evidence that enabling access to universal early child care increases maternal labor supply and promotes gender equality among families with lower socioeconomic status (SES). Our intervention offers information and customized help with child care applications, leading to a boost in child care enrollment among lower-SES families. 18 months after the intervention, we find substantial increases in maternal full-time employment (+160%), maternal earnings (+22%), and household income (+10%). Intriguingly, the positive employment effects are not only driven by extended hours at child care centers, but also by an increase in care hours by fathers. Gender equality also benefits more broadly from better access to child care: The treatment improves a gender equality index that combines information on intra-household division of working hours, care hours, and earnings by 40% of a standard deviation, with significant increases in each dimension. For higher-SES families, we consistently observe negligible, insignificant treatment effects.

JEL Classification: J13, J18, J22, C93
Keywords: child care, maternal employment, gender equality, randomized controlled trial

Full Text: Early Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Gender Equality: A Randomized Controlled Trial