March 2005

IZA DP No. 1515: The Excess Demand for Subsidized Child Care in Germany

revised version published in: Applied Economics, 2008, 40 (10), 1217-1228

The extension of subsidized child care is currently on top of the political agenda in Germany. In this paper the excess demand for subsidized child care slots is estimated using a partial observability model in the style of Abowd and Farber (1982). The results show that more than 50 percent of children aged 0-3 are queuing for child care slots, whereas only 10 percent of children aged 4-6 years are queuing. For children in the younger age group who have working mothers, about 255,000 child care slots are missing. This number comes close to the government’s plan to expand subsidized child care by 230,000 slots.