Francesca Carta, Lucia Rizzica, 26 June 2018

A growing number of advanced economies are opting for highly subsidised childcare systems. But studies have shown mixed effects of subsidised childcare on children’s outcomes, suggesting a potential trade-off between promoting female labour supply and providing the best care for children. This column shows that an expansion of subsidised childcare in Italy increased female labour supply without hurting children’s outcomes. Childcare could be made more cost-effective by making it conditional on the mother’s employment status, or incentivising firms to provide corporate childcare options.

Elizabeth Cascio, 20 August 2009

Proponents of universal early education hope that such investments will yield long-term socioeconomic benefits. This column presents evidence that state governments funding public kindergartens in the US actually widened socioeconomic disparities across adults, as whites made gains that blacks did not. That result highlights the sensitivity of policy interventions to their means of funding and the structure of existing alternatives.

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CEPR Policy Research