The Availability of Child Care Centers in China and Its Impact on Child Care and Maternal Work Decisions

by M. Rebecca Kilburn, Ashlesha Datar

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While the use of child care and mothers' labor force participation are often described as being related to the availability of center-based child care, there is little empirical evidence documenting this relationship. This paper examines the role of center availability in child care use and mother's participation in wage labor using the China Health and Nutrition Survey. Our difference-in-difference estimates suggest that the availability of child care centers in China is associated with sizeable increases in both child care utilization and women's wage labor in urban areas. Our results also demonstrate the importance for non-random center availability.

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