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Hosted by the Department of Economics

Multigenerational Child Penalties and Childcare Policies

A talk by Dr. Jean-William P. Laliberté (PhD) of the University of Calgary


A talk by Dr. Jean-William P. Laliberté (PhD), University of Calgary: part of the Economics Speaker Series hosted by the University of Saskatchewan Department of Economics

Date: Friday, Oct. 28
Time: 3 pm
Location: Arts Building Room 200, 9 Campus Dr., Saskatoon

Free and open to the public

About this event

Child penalties— the impact of having children on earnings—constitute the primary factor contributing to persistent gender inequality in many countries. This paper examines how the availability of alternative modes of care—particularly the public provision of formal childcare services—affects multigenerational child penalties. Our analyses notably incorporate the fact that many grandparents are informal providers of childcare. We find that the arrival of a firstborn reduces the employment and earnings of both mothers and grandmothers, suggesting that the total impact of children on women over the life-cycle is larger than previously thought. Studying the implementation of a universal childcare program in the province in Quebec, we also find that formal childcare provision substantially increased the employment rates of mothers, but also those of grandmothers to a lesser extent. Examining heterogeneity of the program's impact across census divisions, we find that the positive effects on mothers' employment are strongly negatively correlated with grandmothers' supply of unpaid childcare. These findings indicate that (1) the total effect of childcare subsidies on labor supply is greater than that on mothers of young children alone, (2) analyses of social policies should consider broader family units, and (3) the impact of childcare policies depends on pre-existing care arrangements, in particular the importance of care provided by grandparents.


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