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Grandparenting and mothersí labour force participation: A comparative analysis using the Generations and Gender Survey

  • Arnstein Aassve
  • Bruno Arpino
  • Alice Goisis

Using data from seven countries drawn from the Generations and Gender Survey, we study the relationship between informal childcare provided by grandparents and mothersí employment. The extent of formal childcare varies substantially across European countries and so does the role of grandparents in helping out rearing children. The extent of grandparenting also depends on their attitudes, which in turn relate to social norms and availability of public childcare, and hence the country context where individuals reside matters considerably. Within families, attitudes toward childcare are associated with attitudes towards womenís working decisions. The fact that we do not observe these attitudes may bias the estimates. By using instrumental variable techniques we find that only in some countries mothersí employment is positively and significantly associated with grandparents providing childcare. In other countries, once we control for unobserved attitudes we do not find this effect.

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Paper provided by "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in its series Working Papers with number 036.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:036
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  1. Del Boca, Daniela, 2002. "The Effect of Child Care and Part Time Opportunities on Participation and Fertility Decisions in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 427, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2006. "Microeconomic models of family transfers," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  3. Wilde, Joachim, 2000. "Identification of multiple equation probit models with endogenous dummy regressors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 309-312, December.
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