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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. Gangl, Selina & Huber, Martin, 2019. "From housewives to employees? How mandatory kindergarten affects mothers' labour supply in Switzerland," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203636, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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," IAB Discussion Paper 202025, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    10. Zelda Brutti & Daniel Montolio, 2019. "Preventing criminal minds: early education access and adult offending behavior," Working Papers 2019/02, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    11. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Brodeur, Abel & Mikola, Derek & Wright, Taylor, 2020. "The short-term Economic Consequences of COVID-19: Occupation Tasks and Mental Health in Canada," GLO Discussion Paper Series 542, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    12. 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.
    13. Eckhoff Andresen, Martin & Havnes, Tarjei, 2019. "Child care, parental labor supply and tax revenue," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    14. 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.
    15. Pierre Pora, 2020. "Keep Working and Spend Less? Collective Childcare and Parental Earnings in France," EconomiX Working Papers 2020-29, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    16. 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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