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Title: Essays on the economics of universal child care programmes, maternal labour supply and fertility
Author: Raute, A. C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 3967
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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In my thesis I focus on the economic impacts of public policy. I apply micro-econometric techniques to develop a better understanding of whether maternity leave benefi ts do a ffect women's fertility decisions and whether the development of children can be a ffected by universal child care programmes. In the second chapter, I assess the eff ects of changes in financial incentives on fertility arising from a reform in parental leave benefi ts, which increased the financial incentives to have a child for higher-earning women considerably. I find positive statistically significant effects on fertility. My findings suggest that earnings dependent parental bene fits, which compensate women for their opportunity cost of childbearing accordingly, might be a successful means to increase the fertility rate of high-skilled and higher-earning women and to reduce the disparity in fertility rates with respect to mothers' education and earnings. In the third chapter, I study the e ffeect of a German universal child care programme (aimed at 3- to 6-year-olds) on school readiness indicators. I draw on unique administrative data for the entire population of children who are about to start school in one large region. I finnd that longer public child care attendance robustly improves overall school readiness for children of immigrant ancestry. The finndings suggest that universal child care programmes help to narrow the achievement gap between children of immigrant and native ancestry. In the fourth chapter, I estimate marginal returns to child care attendance. I find substantial heterogeneity in the returns to early child care attendance with respect to variables observed and unobserved (by the researcher). Children who are least likely to attend child care early benefi t the most from early child care attendance. The findings imply that alternative policies, such as extending the availability of child care further or adjusting the admission criteria through quotas, would potentially have high returns.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available