Day-Care Expansion and Changing Attitudes of Parents
Using this recent reform, we investigate whether an increase in state subsidized Early Childhood Education and Care facilities is associated with a change in gender role attitudes. Using data on mothers and fathers based on the German Family Panel pairfam (2008-2013) and annual administrative records on day-care provision on district level we apply fixed-effects panel models. Results indicate that the expansion of day-care is associated with less traditional attitudes towards maternal employment and marriage for West German mothers and East German fathers. However, findings for West German fathers seem to be more heterogeneous. For East German mothers, results suggest that once provision has increased beyond a certain threshold, there is no additional change in attitudes. In addition, more egalitarian attitudes towards maternal employment seem to be associated with maternal employment transitions mainly for West German parents. The results point to the importance of intra-cohort attitude change and the moderate relevance of the institutional setting in general and day-care in particular for gender role attitudes.