nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2024‒05‒13
five papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas, University of Wisconsin

  1. Application barriers and the socioeconomic gap in child care enrollment By Hermes, Henning; Lergetporer, Philipp; Peter, Frauke; Wiederhold, Simon
  2. Equitable Use of Subsidized Child Care in Georgia By Goldring, Thomas; Ribar, David C.
  3. Can a Ban on Child Labour Be Self-Enforcing, and Would It Be Efficient? By Alessandro Cigno
  4. Early child care, maternal labor supply, and gender equality: A randomized controlled trial By Hermes, Henning; Krauß, Marina; Lergetporer, Philipp; Peter, Frauke; Wiederhold, Simon
  5. Mass Reproducibility and Replicability: A New Hope By Brodeur, Abel; Mikola, Derek; Cook, Nikolai

  1. By: Hermes, Henning; Lergetporer, Philipp; Peter, Frauke; Wiederhold, Simon
    Abstract: Why are children with lower socioeconomic status (SES) substantially less likely to be enrolled in child care? We study whether barriers in the application process work against lower-SES children - the group known to benefit strongest from child care enrollment. In an RCT in Germany with highly subsidized child care (N = 607), we offer treated families information and personal assistance for applications. We find substantial, equity-enhancing effects of the treatment, closing half of the large SES gap in child care enrollment. Increased enrollment for lower-SES families is likely driven by altered application knowledge and behavior. We discuss scalability of our intervention and derive policy implications for the design of universal child care programs.
    Keywords: application barriers, child care, early childhood, educational inequality, information, randomized controlled trial
    JEL: C93 I21 J13 J18 J24
    Date: 2024
  2. By: Goldring, Thomas (Georgia State University); Ribar, David C. (Georgia State University)
    Abstract: High-quality childcare services are vital to children's development and family wellbeing but are not equitably accessed by all children. Programs supported by the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) have the potential to reduce these inequities. Economically eligible Black children use CCDF-supported services at higher rates than other children, but less is known about disparities in the characteristics of those services. This study uses weekly subsidy records from Georgia's Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program to examine racial, ethnic, and geographic differences in the types, modes, quality, proximity, and stability of care and in subsidy payments, co-payments, and subsidy use. The study distinguishes between unconditional differences that it observes in children's experiences and conditional disparities that it estimates after accounting for children's needs and other characteristics. It interprets the conditional disparities as evidence of inequity. The analysis uncovers many unconditional racial and ethnic differences in subsidized care outcomes and several geographic differences. However, the study finds fewer (and mostly smaller) conditional differences, including very few conditional differences between non-Hispanic Black and White children. The results suggest that there is substantial equity in participating children's use of CAPS services.
    Keywords: equity, childcare arrangements, subsidized child care, race and ethnicity, geography, administrative data, Georgia
    JEL: J13 I38
    Date: 2024–04
  3. By: Alessandro Cigno
    Abstract: Basu and Van (1998) show that a ban on child labour may be self-enforcing under the extreme assumption that, above the subsistence level, no amount of consumption can compensate parents for the disutility of child labour. We show that a partial ban may be self-enforcing also in a more general model where education is an alternative to work, and the disutility of child labour can be compensated by higher present consumption or future income, but a total ban may not. We also show that, in the absence of informational asymmetries, child labour can be eliminated and a First Best achieved if the ban is combined with a credit-backed policy including a subsidy to parents, and a tax on skilled adults. A First Best is out of reach of the use children make of their time when they are neither at school, nor working in the labour market is private information, because the policy maker then faces an incentive-compatibility constraint. The Second-Best policy reduces child labour, but not to zero.
    Keywords: child labour, education, fertility, credit, taxes, subsidies, uncertainty, asymmetric information
    JEL: H31 J22 O12
    Date: 2024
  4. By: Hermes, Henning; Krauß, Marina; Lergetporer, Philipp; Peter, Frauke; Wiederhold, Simon
    Abstract: We provide experimental evidence that enabling access to universal early child care increases maternal labor supply and promotes gender equality among families with lower socioeconomic status (SES). Our intervention offers information and customized help with child care applications, leading to a boost in child care enrollment among lower-SES families. 18 months after the intervention, we find substantial increases in maternal full-time employment (+160%), maternal earnings (+22%), and household income (+10%). Intriguingly, the positive employment effects are not only driven by extended hours at child care centers, but also by an increase in care hours by fathers. Gender equality also benefits more broadly from better access to child care: The treatment improves a gender equality index that combines information on intra-household division of working hours, care hours, and earnings by 40% of a standard deviation, with significant increases in each dimension. For higher-SES families, we consistently observe negligible, insignificant treatment effects.
    Keywords: child care, gender equality, maternal employment, randomized controlled trial
    JEL: C93 J13 J18 J22
    Date: 2024
  5. By: Brodeur, Abel (University of Ottawa); Mikola, Derek (Carleton University); Cook, Nikolai (Wilfrid Laurier University)
    Abstract: This study pushes our understanding of research reliability by reproducing and replicating claims from 110 papers in leading economic and political science journals. The analysis involves computational reproducibility checks and robustness assessments. It reveals several patterns. First, we uncover a high rate of fully computationally reproducible results (over 85%). Second, excluding minor issues like missing packages or broken pathways, we uncover coding errors for about 25% of studies, with some studies containing multiple errors. Third, we test the robustness of the results to 5, 511 re-analyses. We find a robustness reproducibility of about 70%. Robustness reproducibility rates are relatively higher for re-analyses that introduce new data and lower for re-analyses that change the sample or the definition of the dependent variable. Fourth, 52% of re-analysis effect size estimates are smaller than the original published estimates and the average statistical significance of a re-analysis is 77% of the original. Lastly, we rely on six teams of researchers working independently to answer eight additional research questions on the determinants of robustness reproducibility. Most teams find a negative relationship between replicators' experience and reproducibility, while finding no relationship between reproducibility and the provision of intermediate or even raw data combined with the necessary cleaning codes.
    Keywords: reproduction, replication, research transparency, open science, economics, political science
    JEL: B41 C10 C81
    Date: 2024–04

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