DP11120 Cognitive and non-cognitive costs of daycare 0??2 for children in advantaged families

Author(s): Margherita Fort, Giulio Zanella
Publication Date: February 2016
Date Revised: May 2019
Keyword(s): child development, childcare, cognitive skills, daycare, non-cognitive skills
JEL(s): H75, I20, I28, J13
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11120

Exploiting admission thresholds to the Bologna daycare system, we show using RDD that one additional daycare month at age 0â??2 reduces IQ by 0.5% (4.7% of a s.d.) at age 8â??14 in a relatively affluent population. The magnitude of this negative effect increases with family income. Similar negative impacts are found for personality traits. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis from psychology that children in daycare experience fewer one-to-one interactions with adults, with negative effects in families where such interactions are of higher quality. We embed this hypothesis in a model that lends structure to our RDD.