Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2019: 30 Jahre Mauerfall - Demokratie und Marktwirtschaft - Session: Labor Economics - Demography and Gender II No. D15-V2
We examine the impact of formal child care usage on parenting intensity. We measure parenting intensity as the amount of time that parents spend on child rearing and, in particular, on educational activities with children. Using time-use data and a household survey, we estimate the effects at the extensive (use vs. non-use) and intensive (fullday vs. half-day) margins of child care, respectively. We make use of variation in child care availability across age groups and geographies to implement fuzzy-DD and IV-2SLS approaches. Our estimates imply that child care usage reduces the amount of time that parents spend with their children overall but that there are only small impacts on the time spent on educational activities, specifically. As a result, child care usage increases the educational content of the home environment. This finding offers evidence for a previously under-explored channel for child development effects, i.e. through the effect of child care on parenting intensity. We find these effects to be more pronounced for less-educated parents, which may help explain the bigger child development impacts for this group seen in the literature.