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Profesores Principal
Raquel Bernal
Quasi-structural Estimation of a Model of Child Care Choices and Child Cognitive Ability Production” (with Michael Keane).
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  • Quasi-structural Estimation of a Model of Child Care Choices and Child Cognitive Ability Production” (with Michael Keane).

this model, we obtain approximate decisions rules for employment and child care use, and estimate these jointly with the child s cognitive ability production function, an approach we refer to as quasi-structural. This joint estimation implements a selection correction. 

To help identify our selection model, we take advantage of the substantial and plausibly exogenous variation in employment and child-care choices of single mothers generated by the variation in welfare rules across states and over time, especially, the large changes created by the 1996 welfare reform legislation and earlier State waivers. Welfare rules provide natural exclusion restrictions, as it is plausible they enter decision rules for employment and day care use, while not entering the child cognitive ability production function directly. 

Our results imply that if a mother works full-time, while placing a child in day care, for one full year, it reduces the child s cognitive ability test score by roughly 2.7 percent on average, which is 0.14 standard deviations of the score distribution. However, we find evidence of substantial observed and unobserved heterogeneity in the day care effect. Negative effects of day care on test scores are larger for better-educated mothers and for children with larger skill endowments.