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The Mismatch between Employment and Child Care in Italy: the Impact of Rationing

  • Daniela Del Boca
  • Daniela Vuri

In Italy the participation of women has not increased very much in the last few decades relative to other developed countries and it is still among the lowest in Europe. The female employment rate stands almost 13 percentage points below the EU average and 22 below the Lisbon target. One of the most important reasons is related to the characteristics of child care system. In this paper we analyze the characteristics of the child care system in Italy and its relationship to the labor market participation decision of mothers. We present a simple discrete choice framework in which the two decisions can be jointly considered, which also allows for simple forms of rationing. We go on to estimate a bivariate probit model of the child care and employment decisions and interpret the results within the framework of our model. We find evidence that rationing is an important factor in interpreting price effects on utilization rates and employment decisions.

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Paper provided by Collegio Carlo Alberto in its series Carlo Alberto Notebooks with number 31.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:31
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  4. Del Boca, Daniela & Locatelli, Marilena & Vuri, Daniela, 2004. "Child Care Choices by Italian Households," IZA Discussion Papers 983, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  8. Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Child Care Costs and Mothers' Labor Supply: An Empirical Analysis for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 412, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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  15. Jenkins, Stephen P & Symons, Elizabeth J, 2001. "Child Care Costs and Lone Mothers' Employment Rates: UK Evidence," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(2), pages 121-47, March.
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  17. Ermisch, John F, 1989. "Purchased Child Care, Optimal Family Size and Mother's Employment: Theory and Econometric Analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 79-102.
  18. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Labour Force Participation of Women: Empirical Evidence on The Role of Policy and Other Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2003(2), pages 51-108.
  19. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Effects of Child-Care Programs on Women's Work Effort," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S136-S163, Part II, .
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