NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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James Gordon

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2018Who’s Minding the Kids? Experimental Evidence on the Demand for Child Care Quality
with Chris M. Herbst, Erdal Tekin: w25335
Despite the well-documented benefits of high-quality child care, many preschool-age children in the U.S. attend low-quality programs. Accordingly, improving the quality of child care is increasingly an explicit goal of government policy. However, accomplishing this goal requires a thorough understanding of the factors that influence parents’ child care decisions. This paper provides the first credible evidence on the demand for child care characteristics in the market for home-based care. Using a randomized audit design, we study three dimensions of caregiving: affordability (i.e., the hourly price of child care), quality (i.e., caregiver education and experience), and convenience (i.e., caregiver car ownership and availability). We find that while parents are extremely sensitive to the co...
 
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