PMMA-20279 Access to child care and mothers’ employment quality: lessons from Chile


Barriers to women’s labor market entry can be detrimental to gender equality. Across different contexts, women typically have lower labor force participation rates and lower quality jobs relative to men. Female labor force participation in Chile is 48%, among the lowest in Latin America, and the likelihood of employment is two times greater in the highest income quintile relative to the lowest. Understanding barriers to female employment is a relevant policy question for Chile. Motherhood—and the gender roles associated with it—is an important determinant of women’s employment outcomes. Chilean mothers declare that among the most important reasons for not working/seeking employment is lack of child care, even among mothers of school-aged children. In this project, we will investigate the effect of a reform that lengthened school schedules from half to full days in Chile on traditional measures of maternal employment, as well as several measures of job quality. Job quality has received little attention and has never been studied in this context. Understanding the policy effects on job quality can help in the design of policies aimed at improving women’s welfare. Our identification strategy relies on the gradual implementation of the policy across municipalities and over time, using a panel of working age mothers over a 13-year period. We will estimate a model that includes individual fixed-effects, which controls for women’s time-invariant unobservable characteristics that may influence her employment and job quality outcomes. Data sources are publicly available surveys from the Ministries of Social Development and Education.


Project leader: Diana Kruger

Project researchers: Matias Berthelon | Carlos Zamora | Catalina Lauer

Working Papers

No working papers.

Policy Briefs

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Title Modified Size Comments Recommendations
Access to child care and mothers’ employment quality: lessons from Chile 2018-09-18 1.36MB 0 0

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