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Mothers’ labour market participation: Do grandparents make it easier?

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  • Bruno Arpino
  • Chiara D. Pronzato
  • Lara P. Tavares

Abstract

Childcare arrangements are key in women's ability to juggle motherhood and working outside the home. As such, the study of the access to childcare and its use is of great policy relevance. We focus on a particular kind of informal childcare, the one provided by grandparents. Empirically, assessing the effect of grandparental childcare is not an easy task due to unobserved preferences. In light of the potential outcome framework, we interpret the biases resulting from unobserved preferences as arising from the non-compliance of mothers to the availability of grandparents and from preferences of grandparents for activities other than childcare. Using an Instrumental Variable approach on Italian data, we find that the effect of grandparental childcare on mothers’ labour supply is positive, statistically significant and economically relevant. The effect is stronger for lower educated mothers, with young children and living in the North and Centre.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Arpino & Chiara D. Pronzato & Lara P. Tavares, 2012. "Mothers’ labour market participation: Do grandparents make it easier?," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 277, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:277
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    Cited by:

    1. Del Boca, Daniela & Piazzalunga, Daniela & Pronzato, Chiara D., 2014. "Early Child Care and Child Outcomes: The Role of Grandparents," IZA Discussion Papers 8565, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Emanuele Ciani & Claudio Deiana, 2016. "No Free Lunch, Buddy: Housing Transfers and Informal Care Later in Life," Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) 0134, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".
    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. Ciani, Emanuele, 2016. "Retirement, pension eligibility and home production," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 106-120.
    5. BOUSSELIN Audrey, 2017. "Childcare, maternal employment and residential location," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-05, LISER.
    6. Daniela Del Boca, 2015. "Child Care Arrangements and Labor Supply," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 88074, Inter-American Development Bank.
    7. Daniela Del Boca & Daniela Piazzalunga & Chiara Daniela Pronzato, 2014. "Early child care and child outcomes: the role of grandparents. Evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study," CHILD Working Papers Series 24, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    female labour market participation; grandparental childcare; intergenerational transfers; instrumental variables; unobserved preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation

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