Institute of Education


Minimum quality regulations and the demand for child care labour

11 November 2021, 3:00 pm–4:00 pm

Busy city. Daniel Frese via Pexels.

In this webinar, Dr Chris Herbst will speak on his recently published research on minimum quality regulations in the child care market, bringing the research evidence from the US.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Khrystyna Myhasiuk

Minimum quality regulations are often justified in the child care market because of the presence of information frictions between parents and providers. However, regulations can also have unintended consequences for the quantity and quality of services provided.

In this seminar, the researcher will show how they merge new data on states' child care regulations for maximum classroom group sizes and child-to-staff ratios with the universe of online job postings to study the impact of regulations on the demand for and characteristics of child care labour.

The identification strategy exploits the unprecedented variation in regulatory reform during the COVID-19 pandemic, relying on changes both within states over time and across children's age groups. 

Researchers find robust evidence that these regulations reduce the number of child care job postings and encourage providers to substitute away from higher-skilled postings, thereby increasing the number of positions that are out-of-compliance with state law. 

Furthermore, they show that regulations adversely affect mothers' labor force participation. In sum, the results imply that child care regulations may reduce the demand for child care labor, while simultaneously altering the composition of the workforce.

This event will be particularly useful for those interested in education policy, child care and equal opportunities. 

Related links

About the Speaker

Chris M. Herbst

Dr. Herbst is a Professor in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), and a co-editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

His research focuses on examining how the child care labor market functions as well as the impact of child care policy on low-skilled women’s employment and children’s early development. He received his Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Maryland, College Park.

He was named a Child Care Bureau Research Scholar, a dissertation fellowship funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to aid the future generations of child care researchers. Dr. Herbst’s dissertation on child care policy received the 2006-2007 Ph.D. Dissertation Award from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

His child care research has been published in top-ranked public policy and economics journals, including the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Labor Economics, Health Economics, and Economics of Education Review.

This work has been highlighted in several major media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Bloomberg, and NPR.