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Information and Women's Intentions: Experimental Evidence about Child Care

Author

Listed:
  • Vincenzo Galasso
  • Paola Profeta
  • Chiara Pronzato
  • Francesco Billari

Abstract

We investigate the effect of providing information about the benefits to children of attending formal child care when women intend to use formal child care so they can work. We postulate that the reaction to the information differs across women according to their characteristics, specifically their level of education. We present a randomized experiment in which 700 Italian women of reproductive age with no children are exposed to positive information about formal child care through a text message or a video, while others are not. We find a positive effect on the intention to use formal child care, and a negative effect on the intention to work. This average result hides important heterogeneities: the positive effect on formal child care use is driven by better-educated women, while the negative effect on work intention is found only among less-educated women. These findings may be explained by women’s education reflecting their work-family orientation, and their ability to afford formal child care.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta & Chiara Pronzato & Francesco Billari, 2015. "Information and Women's Intentions: Experimental Evidence about Child Care," Working Papers 075, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  • Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:075
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Female labour supply; education; gender roles.;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • C99 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Other

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