Does providing childcare to unemployed affect unemployment duration?

Published: 21 May 2010
Author: Ulrika Vikman, And

This paper examines if the probability of leaving unemployment changes for unemployed parents with young children when childcare is available. To investigate this, I use the heterogeneity among Swedish municipalities before the implementation of a 2001 Swedish childcare reform making it mandatory for municipalities to offer childcare to unemployed parents for at least 15 hours per week. In the study difference-in-differences and difference-in-difference-indifferences methods are used. The results indicate a positive effect on the probability of leaving unemployment for mothers when childcare is available, but no effect is found for fathers. For mothers, some heterogeneous effects are also found, with a greater effect on the probability of leaving unemployment for work when childcare is available for mothers with only compulsory schooling or university education and mothers with two children.

Keywords: Treatment evaluation, equilibrium effects, matching estimators
JEL-codes: C13, C14, C21, C31, J64