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Early kindergarten, maternal labor supply and children's outcomes: Evidence from Italy

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  • Carta, Francesca
  • Rizzica, Lucia

Abstract

We analyze a reform that introduced early access to subsidized childcare for 2-year-old children in Italy, exploring the effects on several measures of maternal labor supply and on children's cognitive outcomes. Our identification strategy exploits discontinuities in the eligibility rules and the staggered implementation of the reform. We find that the policy increased mothers' participation in the labor market and lowered the reservation wage of the unemployed, thus increasing their likelihood of finding a job. At the same time, the newly introduced childcare arrangement did not affect children's cognitive development, irrespective of their family background.

Suggested Citation

  • Carta, Francesca & Rizzica, Lucia, 2018. "Early kindergarten, maternal labor supply and children's outcomes: Evidence from Italy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 79-102.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:158:y:2018:i:c:p:79-102
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2017.12.012
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    6. Selina Gangl & Martin Huber, 2021. "From homemakers to breadwinners? How mandatory kindergarten affects maternal labour market outcomes," Papers 2111.14524, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2022.
    7. Backhaus, Andreas & Barslund, Mikkel, 2021. "The effect of grandchildren on grandparental labor supply: Evidence from Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    8. Huebener, Mathias & Pape, Astrid & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2020. "Parental labour supply responses to the abolition of day care fees," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 510-543.
    9. Eckhoff Andresen, Martin & Havnes, Tarjei, 2019. "Child care, parental labor supply and tax revenue," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    10. Corazzini, Luca & Meschi, Elena & Pavese, Caterina, 2021. "Impact of early childcare on immigrant children’s educational performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 85(C).
    11. Boneva, T. & Kaufmann, K. & Rauh, C., 2021. "Maternal Labor Supply: Perceived Returns, Constraints, and Social Norms," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2138, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    12. Daniela Del Boca & Enrica Maria Martino & Elena Claudia Meroni & Daniela Piazzalunga, 2019. "Early Education and Gender Differences," CHILD Working Papers Series 70 JEL Classification: J1, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    13. Eric Schuss & Mohammed Azaouagh, 2021. "Combining parenthood and work: transmission channels and heterogeneous returns to early public childcare," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 641-676, September.
    14. Hao Li, 2020. "The effect of universal pre‐kindergarten policy on female labor force participation—A synthetic control approach," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 87(2), pages 440-482, October.
    15. Collischon, Matthias & Kühnle, Daniel & Oberfichtner, Michael, 2020. "Cash-For-Care, or Caring for Cash? The Effects of a Home Care Subsidy on Maternal Employment, Childcare Choices, and Children's Development," IZA Discussion Papers 13271, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Francesca Carta, 2019. "Female labour supply in Italy: the role of parental leave and child care policies," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 539, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    17. P. Pora, 2020. "Keep Working and Spend Less? Collective Childcare and Parental Earnings in France," Documents de Travail de l'Insee - INSEE Working Papers g2020-05, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques.
    18. Daniel Kuehnle & Michael Oberfichtner, 2020. "Does Starting Universal Childcare Earlier Influence Children’s Skill Development?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(1), pages 61-98, February.
    19. Alessandra Casarico & Salvatore Lattanzio, 2021. "Behind the Child Penalty: Understanding What Contributes to the Labour Market Costs of Motherhood," CESifo Working Paper Series 9155, CESifo.
    20. Francesco Figari & Edlira Narazani, 2020. "The joint decision of female labour supply and childcare in Italy under costs and availability constraints," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 37(2), pages 411-439, July.
    21. Hojman, Andrés & López Bóo, Florencia, 2019. "Cost-Effective Public Daycare in a Low-Income Economy Benefits Children and Mothers," IZA Discussion Papers 12585, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    22. Wikle, Jocelyn & Wilson, Riley, 2021. "Access to Head Start and Maternal Labor Supply: Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 14880, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    23. Louis-Philippe Beland & Abel Brodeur & Derek Mikola & Taylor Wright, 2020. "COVID-19, Occupation Tasks and Mental Health in Canada," Carleton Economic Papers 20-07, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 30 Jun 2020.
    24. Brutti, Zelda & Montolio, Daniel, 2021. "Preventing criminal minds: Early education access and adult offending behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 97-126.
    25. Marc Jourdain Muizon, 2020. "Subsidies for parental leave and formal childcare: be careful what you wish for," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 735-772, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Childcare; Female labor supply; Child development; Public services;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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