Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Francisca Antman

Abstract

In this paper, I examine the impact of universal preschool programs on male labor supply. By lowering the cost of child care, universal preschool programs could affect fathers’ decisions of how much to work. While an extensive literature studies the effects of policies that lower the cost of child care on female labor supply, those policies’ effects on male labor supply have barely been explored. I use data from six states that implemented universal preschool programs between 1995 and 2006, as well as data from 12 states that do not provide any funding for preschool. I use a variation of a difference-in-differences regression model to determine universal preschool’s impact on male labor supply. For men whose youngest child is four, I find that universal preschool programs increase the probability of labor force participation by 1.3 percentage points and increase the probability of employment by 1.26 percentage points. Dividing the sample by marital status, I find that married fathers of four-year-olds are more likely to be in the labor force and employed when universal preschool is introduced, but I do not find a change in the labor supply of single fathers of four-year-olds.

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