Do Higher Child Care Subsidies Improve Parental Well-Being? Evidence from Quebec’s Family Policies

Do Higher Child Care Subsidies Improve Parental Well-Being? Evidence from Quebec’s Family Policies

Do Higher Child Care Subsidies Improve Parental Well-Being? Evidence from Quebec’s Family Policies

Do Higher Child Care Subsidies Improve Parental Well-Being? Evidence from Quebec’s Family Policiess

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Référence bibliographique [11299]

Brodeur, Abel et Connolly, Marie. 2013. «Do Higher Child Care Subsidies Improve Parental Well-Being? Evidence from Quebec’s Family Policies ». Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, vol. 93, p. 1-16.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
«In this paper, we aim to contribute to the growing research on the determinants of well-being by investigating how subjective well-being was affected by a drastic change in the child care subsidy policy of the Canadian province of Quebec.» (p. 2)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
«Our data come from Statistics Canada’s Canadian General Social Surveys (CGSS), the first wave of which appeared in 1985. The surveys had a target sample of 10,000 individuals until 1998, subsequently increasing to about 22,000 for the 2010 survey. There are eight different Survey Programs (Health, Time Use, Victimization, Family, Social Engagement, Social Support and Aging, Access to and Use of Information and Communication Technologies, and Education, Work and Retirement) which are repeated every five cycles or so. In this study we only used the cycles closest to the policy change: 1998 to cover the period before the change and 2003 and 2005 for after the change. Both 1998 and 2005 are Time Use cycles while 2003 covers Social Engagement. […] We restricted our sample of the CGSS to respondents aged 20–49.» (p. 5)

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


À la lumière de leur analyse, les auteurs attestent que «Quebec’s family policy led to a small decrease (8% of a standard deviation) in parents’ satisfaction with their lives. While we acknowledge that our results are driven by more than one mechanism, we are struck by the heterogeneity of the effect when looking at separate subcategories of our data. Our overall effect on life satisfaction appears to be driven by a decrease in fathers’ life satisfaction, not mothers’. The most telling findings come when we look at education and gender subgroups. We find large and positive effects of the policy on the SWB of lower-educated households, both mothers and fathers. For mothers, these positive effects are also felt on alternative measures of well-being such as a good sleep and lower stress. Two areas where lower-educated mothers have lost out are in their satisfaction with their work-life balance and self-reported health. This last piece of evidence is consistent with a Second Shift hypothesis combined with a focusing illusion: when specifically asked about their work-life balance, lower-educated women who experienced the dual pressures of work and family report a lower satisfaction, yet when asked about their happiness and life satisfaction they declare themselves better off.» (p. 14-15)