DP8981 Care or Cash? The Effect of Child Care Subsidies on Student Performance

Author(s): Sandra Black, Paul J. Devereux, Katrine Løken, Kjell G Salvanes
Publication Date: May 2012
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Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8981

Given the wide use of childcare subsidies across countries, it is surprising how little we know about the effect of these subsidies on children’s longer run outcomes. Using a sharp discontinuity in the price of childcare in Norway, we are able to isolate the effects of childcare subsidies on both parental and student outcomes. We find very small and statistically insignificant effects of childcare subsidies on childcare utilization and parental labor force participation. Despite this, we find significant positive effect of the subsidies on children’s academic performance in junior high school, suggesting the positive shock to disposable income provided by the subsidies may be helping to improve children’s scholastic aptitude.