The educational and labor market returns to preschool attendance in Austria

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Preschool attendance is widely recognized as a key ingredient for later socioeconomic success, mothers’ labor market participation, and leveling the playing field for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. However, the empirical evidence for these claims is still relatively scarce, particularly in Europe. Using data from the 2011 Austrian European Union Statistics of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), we contribute to this literature by studying the effects of having attended preschool for the adult Austrian population. We find strong and positive effects of preschool attendance on later educational attainment, the probability of working full time, hourly wages, and the probability that the mother is in the labor market. Full time workers at the bottom and the top of the distribution benefit less than those in the middle. Women in particular benefit more in terms of years of schooling and the probability of working full time. Other disadvantaged groups (second generation migrants; people with less educated parents) also often benefit more in terms of education and work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3531 - 3550
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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