Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2018:11: Childcare - A safety net for children?

Aino-Maija Aalto (), Eva Mörk (), Anna Sjögren () and Helena Svaleryd ()
Additional contact information
Aino-Maija Aalto: UCLS, Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Eva Mörk: UCLS, UCFS,CESifo, IZA, IEB, Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Anna Sjögren: IFAU Uppsala, UCLS
Helena Svaleryd: UCLS, UCFS, Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: We analyze how access to childcare affects health outcomes of children with unemployed parents using a reform that increased childcare access in some Swedish municipalities. For 4–5 year olds, we find an immediate increase in infection-related hospitalization, when these children first get access to childcare. We find no effect on younger children. When children are 10–11 years of age, children who did not have access to childcare when parents were unemployed are more likely to take medication for respiratory conditions. Taken together, our results thus suggest that access to childcare exposes children to risks for infections, but that need for medication in school age is lower for children who had access.

Keywords: Childcare; Child health; Unemployment; Quasi-experiment

JEL-codes: I14; J13

45 pages, August 28, 2018

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