In 2007, seeking to increase female labor force participation and more generally ease burdens on working women, the Mexican government introduced an enormous expansion of a child care program: Estancias Infantiles para Apoyar a Madres Trabajadoras (EI). EI covers 90 percent approximately of the cost of enrolling a child under age four at a formal child care center and is intended to benefit women who are looking for work, in school, or working -with the exception of those who already have access to child care because their job is covered by Mexico's social security system (IMSS). The roll-out of EI was so fast and intense that, by mid-2010, it had approximately 357,000 child care spaces. In order to identify the effects of the program I use a combination of triple differences and synthetic control methods, and find that EI increased women's probability of working and reduced the time they devoted to child rearing. EI also caused women to obtain more stable jobs and it increased their labor incomes. Affected husbands spent less time on child rearing and housework, and they were more likely to switch to a better-paid job.
time allocation female labor supply child care intrahousehold allocations synthetic control method