Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Unintended Consequences of Childcare Regulation in Chile: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design

Villena, Mauricio G. and Sanchez, Rafael and Rojas, Eugenio (2011): Unintended Consequences of Childcare Regulation in Chile: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design.

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Abstract

In several countries governments fund childcare provision, but in many others it is privately funded as labour regulation mandates that firms have to provide childcare services. For this latter case, there is no empirical evidence on the effects generated by the financial burden of childcare provision. In particular, there is no evidence about who effectively pays (i.e. firms or employees) and how it pays (i.e. via wages and/or employment). This study is the first one to provide such evidence. Our hypothesis is that, in imperfect labour markets (e.g. oligopsonistic), firms will transfer childcare cost on to their workers. To analyze this, we exploit a discontinuity on childcare provision mandated by Chilean labour regulation. Our results suggest that firms transfer entirely the cost of childcare (nearly 100%) to their workers via lower wages (not only to female but also to male workers) and not through the alteration of the share of male workers within the firm. This is consistent with our finding that firms do not manipulate the threshold (number of female workers) because they avoid the burden by transfering the cost to their employees.

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