Childcare, Labor Supply, and Business Development: Experimental Evidence from Uganda

Working Paper
Published on 22 April 2022


In a field experiment in Uganda, mothers of young children are randomly offered a childcare subsidy, an equivalent cash grant, both or nothing. Childcare leads to a 44 percent increase in household income, which is at least as large as the impact of the cash grant and driven by an increase in mothers’ business revenues and fathers’ wage earnings. The childcare subsidy also improves child development while the cash grant does not. Overall, our findings demonstrate that childcare subsidies can be an effective policy to simultaneously promote child development and reduce poverty in a low-income context.


Kjetil Bjorvatn

Norwegian School of Economics

Denise Ferris

BRAC Institute of Governance and Development

Selim Gulesci

Trinity College Dublin

Arne Nasgowitz

Norwegian School of Economics

Vincent Somville

Norwegian School of Economics

Lore Vandewalle

The Graduate Institute, Geneva