DP7203 Child Care Provision: Semiparametric Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Mexico.

Author(s): Pierre Dubois, Marta Rubio-Codina
Publication Date: March 2009
Keyword(s): Child Care Provision, Conditional Cash Transfer Programs, Semiparametric Estimation, Substitution Effects
JEL(s): D10, I00, J13, J22
Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7203

We semiparametrically estimate the impact of the Mexican conditional cash transfer program Oportunidades on the time mothers and older sisters spend taking care of children aged under 3, using the randomization of the program placement and the methodology in Lewbel (2000). Results support the existence of substitution effects: mothers in treatment households are more likely to substitute for their older daughters? time to child care. As a result, daughters devote more time to schooling and less taking care of their younger siblings. Overall, total household time allocated to child care increases. These findings indicate that Oportunidades not only fosters human capital accumulation through keeping teenage girls in school but also through more and arguably better (mother provided) child care.