Publication
Title
Local childcare availability and dual-earner fertility : variation in childcare coverage and birth hazards over place and time
Author
Abstract
The theoretically well-grounded hypothesis that the availability of formal childcare has a positive impact on childbearing in the developed world has been part of the population literature for a long time. Whereas the participation of women in the labour force created a tension between work and family life, the increasing availability of formal childcare in many developed countries is assumed to reconcile these two life domains due to lower opportunity costs and compatible mother and worker roles. However, previous empirical studies on the association between childcare availability and fertility exhibit ambiguous results and considerable variation in the methods applied. This study assesses the childcarefertility hypothesis for Belgium, a consistently top-ranked country concerning formal childcare coverage that also exhibits considerable variation within the country. Using detailed longitudinal census and register data for the 2000s combined with childcare coverage rates for 588 municipalities and allowing for the endogenous nature of formal childcare and selective migration, our findings indicate clear and substantial positive effects of local formal childcare provision on birth hazards, especially when considering the transition to parenthood. In addition, this article quantifies the impact of local formal childcare availability on fertility at the aggregate level and shows that in the context of low and lowest-low fertility levels in the developed world, the continued extension of formal childcare services can be a fruitful tool to stimulate childbearing among dual-earner couples.
Language
English
Source (journal)
European journal of population. - Amsterdam
Publication
Amsterdam : 2019
ISSN
0168-6577
Volume/pages
35 :5 (2019) , p. 913-937
ISI
000499662600003
Pubmed ID
31832030
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
Family Policy, Maternal Employment and Fertility Outcomes: Socio-economic Differentials in Uptake and Effects of Childcare & Parental Leave in Belgium.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 17.01.2019
Last edited 25.05.2022
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