NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Geographic Accessibility of Child Care Subsidies and Evidence on the Impact of Subsidy Receipt on Childhood Obesity

Chris M. Herbst, Erdal Tekin

NBER Working Paper No. 17471
Issued in September 2011
NBER Program(s):   CH   HE

This paper examines the impact of the spatial accessibility of public human services agencies on the likelihood of receiving a child care subsidy among disadvantaged mothers with young children. In particular, we collect data on the location of virtually every human services agency in the U.S. and use this information to calculate the approximate distance that families must travel from home in order to reach the nearest office that administers the subsidy application process. Using data from the Kindergarten cohort of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-K), our results indicate that an increase in the distance to a public human services agency reduces the likelihood that a family receives a child care subsidy. Specifically, we estimate an elasticity of subsidy receipt with respect to distance of -0.13. The final section of the paper provides an empirical application in which we use variation in families' travel distance to identify the causal effect of child care subsidies on children's weight outcomes. Our instrumental variables estimates suggest that subsidized child care leads to sizeable increases in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among low-income children.

download in pdf format
   (267 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (267 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17471

Published: Herbst, Chris M. & Tekin, Erdal, 2012. "The geographic accessibility of child care subsidies and evidence on the impact of subsidy receipt on childhood obesity," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 37-52. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Herbst and Tekin w17774 Child Care Subsidies, Maternal Well-Being, and Child-Parent Interactions: Evidence from Three Nationally Representative Datasets
Herbst and Tekin w16250 The Impact of Child Care Subsidies on Child Well-Being: Evidence from Geographic Variation in the Distance to Social Service Agencies
Herbst and Tekin w14474 Child Care Subsidies and Child Development
Herbst and Tekin w15007 Child Care Subsidies and Childhood Obesity
Loeb, Fuller, Kagan, Carrol, and Carroll w9954 Child Care in Poor Communities: Early Learning Effects of Type, Quality, and Stability
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us