Sarah Cattan

  • Current position:
    Senior Research Economist, Institute for Fiscal Studies, UK
  • Research interest:
    Human capital formation, labor markets, and inequality
  • Website:
  • Affiliations:
    Institute for Fiscal Studies, UK, and IZA, Germany
  • Qualifications:
    PhD Economics, University of Chicago, 2012
  • Personal statement about IZA World of Labor:
    I’m thrilled to contribute to IZA World of Labor, as it is likely to help disseminate policy-relevant research beyond academia and to support policymakers interested in designing policies based on sound economic principles and rigorous empirical evidence
  • Selected publications:
    • “Identifying sibling influence on teenage substance use.” Journal of Human Resources (Forthcoming) (with J. Altonji and I. Ware).
  • Articles

Can universal preschool increase the labor supply of mothers?

The success of universal preschool education depends crucially on the policy parameters and specific country context

November 2016

10.15185/izawol.312 312

by Sarah Cattan Cattan, S

Since the 1970s, many countries have established free or highly subsidized education for all preschool children in the hope of improving children’s learning and socio-economic life chances and encouraging mothers to join the labor force. Evaluations reveal that these policies can increase maternal employment in the short term and may continue to do so even after the child is no longer in preschool by enabling mothers to gain more job skills and increase their attachment to the labor force. However, their effectiveness depends on the policy design, the country context, and the characteristics of mothers of preschoolers.