Claire Crawford

Dr Claire Crawford

Research Fellow

Education:

PhD Economics of Education, Institute of Education, University of London, 2012
MSc Economics, University College London, 2004
BA (Hons) Economics (1st class), Lancaster University, 2003

Claire is a Research Fellow of the IFS and Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick.

She was previously Programme Director of the Skills sector at IFS. Her research interests focus on the determinants of educational attainment and HE participation, including the roles of socio-economic status, expectations and aspirations, month of birth and parents' marital status. She is particularly interested in how education policy can be used to improve the outcomes of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and has played a leading role in the evaluations of a number of education programmes aiming to do just that, including on behalf of the Department of Education and the Education Endowment Foundation. She is also managing editor of Fiscal Studies.

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Free childcare and parents’ labour supply: is more better?

| Working Paper

Despite the introduction of childcare subsidies in many countries, the cost of childcare is still thought to hinder parental employment. Many governments are considering increasing the generosity of their childcare subsidies, but the a priori effect of such a policy is ambiguous and little is known empirically about its likely impact. This paper compares the effects on parents’ labour supply of offering free part-time childcare and of expanding this offer to the whole school day in England using an empirical strategy which, unlike previous studies, exploits both date of birth discontinuities and panel data. We find that the provision of free part-time childcare has little, if any, causal impact on the labour market outcomes of mothers or fathers. Increasing the number of hours of free childcare to cover a full school day, however, leads to significant increases in the labour supply of mothers whose youngest child is eligible, with impacts emerging immediately and increasing over the months following entitlement.

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