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When Rationing Plays a Role: Selection Criteria in the Italian Early Childcare System

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  • Daniela Del Boca
  • Chiara Pronzato
  • Giuseppe Sorrenti

Abstract

Our study explores the impact of selection criteria on the costs and benefits of early childcare for mothers’ employment, child development, and municipalities’ revenues by exploiting the selection criteria of different Italian municipalities in assigning childcare slots. In Italy, only around 13% of the demand for public childcare coverage is met, and the number of applications exceeds the number of places in childcare services in all regions. In conditions of excess demand, municipalities introduce selection criteria to give priority to families for whom access to public childcare appears to be more valuable. We analyse through simulations the consequences of introducing different selection criteria, using a representative Italian sample of households with children under 3 years of age (European Survey on Living and Income Conditions), and the selection criteria employed by six representative Italian municipalities. Our results have interesting policy implications. The benefits for child outcomes and mothers’ employment are stronger in municipalities where the selection criteria give priority to more disadvantaged households. However, in these contexts, selected households are less able to contribute to the financial sustainability of the service.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniela Del Boca & Chiara Pronzato & Giuseppe Sorrenti, 2016. "When Rationing Plays a Role: Selection Criteria in the Italian Early Childcare System," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 62(4), pages 752-775.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:62:y:2016:i:4:p:752-775.
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    1. Corazzini, Luca & Meschi, Elena & Pavese, Caterina, 2019. "Impact of Early Childcare on Immigrant Children’s Educational Performance," GLO Discussion Paper Series 394, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Biroli, Pietro & Del Boca, Daniela & Heckman, James J. & Heckman, Lynne Pettler & Koh, Yu Kyung & Kuperman, Sylvi & Moktan, Sidharth & Pronzato, Chiara D. & Ziff, Anna L., 2018. "Evaluation of the Reggio approach to early education," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-32.
    3. Daniela Del Boca, 2015. "The impact of child care costs and availability on mothers’ labor supply," ImPRovE Working Papers 15/04, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    4. Gloria Di Caprera, 2016. "Ready to learn: the role of childcare attendance on children's school outcomes in Italy," CEIS Research Paper 378, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 09 May 2016.
    5. 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.
    6. Daniela Del Boca & Enrica Maria Martino & Chiara Pronzato, 2017. "Early Childcare and Child Non-Cognitive Outcomes," CHILD Working Papers Series 58 JEL Classification: J1, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    childcare; mothers’ employment; child development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare

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