Child Care Subsidies, Employment Services and Women's Labor Market Outcomes in Egypt: First Midline Results

This paper contributes to the existing literature in several important ways. The existing literature on the impact of childcare subsidies is from contexts with relatively higher rates of female labor force participation. This work is thus an important test of whether alleviating care responsibilities and reducing the opportunity cost of women working through childcare subsidies can increase women’s participation in contexts and populations with lower participation. Likewise, although there is a sizable body of literature on employment services interventions, there is less evidence on whether they can help married women with young children. Lastly, recognizing that women in Egypt face a multitude of employment constraints, our experiment tests whether a combination of employment services and childcare subsidies has important complementarities, by alleviating multiple constraints at the same time. This paper examines the impact of the interventions on job search outcomes for women 3-4 months after the baseline survey and assignment to treatment for approximately half the planned sample. The first midline survey examines specifically job search behaviors: reservation wages, reservation job quality, and job search effort. The authors also discuss take-up of the two interventions and contextualize take-up and outcomes with information on norms about women’s work and childcare.