Essays on Labor and Family Economics in China

  • Lei Lei Lei Lei

Early childhood education has attracted tremendous attention as a potential instrument to improve
family and child development. On the one hand, available non-parental childcare can increase
parents’, especially mothers’, labor force participation (Gelbach, 2002; Lefebvre & Merrigan,
2008; Berlinski & Galiani, 2007). On the other hand, there is ongoing discussion on whether
non-parental care could be harmful to children or not. There is a growing body of literature
that examines how the provision of public childcare might have impacts on both cognitive and
non-cognitive skill development for the affected children in developed countries, both in the short
and long run (Baker, Gruber, & Milligan, 2008; Gupta & Simonsen, 2010; Felfe & Lalive, 2018;
Havnes & Mogstad, 2011). Research on informal care by grandparents usually find the adverse
effect, especially for some measures of no-cognitive skills, in the short run (Del Boca, Piazzalunga,
& Pronzato, 2018)2. Little is known whether these adverse effects last into adult life.

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