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Child Care Choices by Italian Households

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Author Info

  • Del Boca, Daniela

    ()
    (University of Turin)

  • Locatelli, Marilena

    ()
    (University of Turin)

  • Vuri, Daniela

    ()
    (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

Abstract

In spite of relatively generous public subsidies and a reputation for high quality, only a very limited proportion of Italian families use public child care. In this paper we explore the significance of various factors on the choices made between different types of child care. In part one, we use a simulation exercise to show the impact of cost and availability on child care choices. In part two, we present the results of an explorative econometric analysis using a matched data set for 1998 from the Bank of Italy (SHIW) and ISTAT Multiscopo. We find evidence that factors related to family composition and support as well as to the characteristics of child care are important in explaining the choices made by Italian families. Assistance provided by grandmothers and husbands appears to be of crucial significance to Italian mothers who are seeking to reconcile the difficulties stemming from the rigidity of the labor market and the limitations of child care. Rationing, both of public and private child care, also proves to be an important factor affecting households’ choices. An understanding of the importance of these factors is relevant in the evaluation of social policies encouraging mothers’ participation in the labor market in Italy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 983.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economics of the Household, 2005, 3 (4), 453-477
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp983

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Keywords: child care; labor market decisions;

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References

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  1. David C. Ribar, 1992. "Child Care and the Labor Supply of Married Women: Reduced Form Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 134-165.
  2. Andrea Ichino & Anna Sanz De Galdeano, 2004. "Reconciling Motherhood and Work: Evidence from Time Use Data in Three Countries," CSEF Working Papers 114, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  3. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 450-77, June.
  4. Maria Concetta Chiuri, 1999. "Intra-Household Allocation of Time and Resources: Empirical Evidence on a Sample of Italian Households with Young Children," CSEF Working Papers 15, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  5. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1988. "Child-Care Costs and Family Labor Supply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 374-81, August.
  6. Philip K. Robins & Charles Michalopoulos, 2002. "Employment and child-care choices of single-parent families in Canada and the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 465-493.
  7. D. McFadden & J. Hausman, 1981. "Specification Tests for the Multinominal Logit Model," Working papers 292, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Connelly, Rachel, 1992. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on Married Women's Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 83-90, February.
  9. Emilia Del Bono & Massimiliano Bratti, 2004. "Work Attachment Of New Mothers: The Role Of Human Capital, Employment Stability And Job Protection In Italy," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 17, Royal Economic Society.
  10. Alan Duncan & Gillian Paull & Jayne Taylor, 2001. "Price and quality in the UK childcare market," IFS Working Papers W01/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Jean Kimmel, 1998. "Child Care Costs As A Barrier To Employment For Single And Married Mothers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 287-299, May.
  12. A. Chevalier & T. K. Viitanen, 2002. "The causality between female labour force participation and the availability of childcare," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(14), pages 915-918.
  13. M Arellano & Costas Megir & Mary Silles, 1990. "Female Labour Supply and On-the-Job Search: An Empirical Model Estimated using Complementary Data Sets," CEP Discussion Papers dp0009, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  14. Siv Gustafsson & Frank Stafford, 1992. "Child Care Subsidies and Labor Supply in Sweden," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 204-230.
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