Childcare, labor supply, and business development

Published: February 17, 2022

The project assesses the impacts of childcare on women’s income generation activities.

Can freeing up time by offering childcare stimulate women’s labor supply and business development? How does subsidized childcare compare to a cash grant of similar value?

We randomly assigned a sample of close to 1,500 households in 400 communities in Uganda to either a control group or one of three treatment arms: (i) free childcare for one year; (ii) a cash grant of equal value (labeled as a business grant and given to the female household head); (iii) both free childcare and the cash grant. This research design allows us to evaluate the cost effectiveness of the childcare intervention as a means of stimulating income generation by comparing it to a commonly used alternative policy, the cash grant. We use a broad set of outcome variables to capture effects on labor supply and income, happiness, consumption, and children’s development, and track impacts on both the mother and her partner, allowing us to shed light on mechanisms and draw welfare implications based on household-level outcomes.

Implementing partner
Western, Central, and Eastern Uganda
In-country research partner
BRAC Uganda
Study population
1,500 households, 400 communities
Study type
Randomized controlled trial
2018 - 2020
Kjetil Bjorvatn (project leader), Denise Ferris, Selim Gulesci, Arne Nasgowitz, Vincent Somville, Lore Vandewalle