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Evaluation of the Reggio Approach to Early Education

Author

Listed:
  • Biroli, Pietro

    () (University of Zurich)

  • Del Boca, Daniela

    () (University of Turin)

  • Heckman, James J.

    () (University of Chicago)

  • Heckman, Lynne Pettler

    () (University of Chicago)

  • Koh, Yu Kyung

    () (University of Chicago)

  • Kuperman, Sylvi

    () (University of Chicago)

  • Moktan, Sidharth

    () (University of Chicago)

  • Pronzato, Chiara D.

    () (University of Turin)

  • Ziff, Anna

    () (University of Chicago)

Abstract

We evaluate the Reggio Approach using non-experimental data on individuals from the cities of Reggio Emilia, Parma and Padova belonging to one of five age cohorts: ages 50, 40, 30, 18, and 6 as of 2012. The treated were exposed to municipally offered infant-toddler (ages 0–3) and preschool (ages 3–6) programs. The control group either didn't receive formal childcare or were exposed to programs offered by the state or religious systems. We exploit the city-cohort structure of the data to estimate treatment effects using three strategies: difference-in-differences, matching, and matched-difference-in-differences. Most positive and significant effects are generated from comparisons of the treated with individuals who did not receive formal childcare. Relative to not receiving formal care, the Reggio Approach significantly boosts outcomes related to employment, socio-emotional skills, high school graduation, election participation, and obesity. Comparisons with individuals exposed to alternative forms of childcare do not yield strong patterns of positive and significant effects. This suggests that differences between the Reggio Approach and other alternatives are not sufficiently large to result in significant differences in outcomes. This interpretation is supported by our survey, which documents increasing similarities in the administrative and pedagogical practices of childcare systems in the three cities over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Biroli, Pietro & Del Boca, Daniela & Heckman, James J. & Heckman, Lynne Pettler & Koh, Yu Kyung & Kuperman, Sylvi & Moktan, Sidharth & Pronzato, Chiara D. & Ziff, Anna, 2017. "Evaluation of the Reggio Approach to Early Education," IZA Discussion Papers 10742, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10742
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniela Del Boca & Enrica Maria Martino & Elena Claudia Meroni & Daniela Piazzalunga, 2019. "Early Education and Gender Differences," CHILD Working Papers Series 70 JEL Classification: J1, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    2. 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.
    3. Jens Dietrichson & Ida Lykke Kristiansen & Bjørn A. Viinholt, 2020. "Universal Preschool Programs And Long‐Term Child Outcomes: A Systematic Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(5), pages 1007-1043, December.
    4. Elisa Failache & Noemí Katzkowicz, 2019. "Desarrollo infantil en Uruguay: una aproximación a sus determinantes (Childhood development: An approach to its determinants)," Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE, vol. 83(2), pages 55-104, September.
    5. Maurizio Pugno, 2021. "The economics of eudaimonia," Chapters, in: Luigino Bruni & Alessandra Smerilli & Dalila De Rosa (ed.), A Modern Guide to the Economics of Happiness, chapter 4, pages 46-66, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Nores, Milagros & Bernal, Raquel & Barnett, W. Steven, 2019. "Center-based care for infants and toddlers: The aeioTU randomized trial," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 30-43.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    childcare; early childhood education; Reggio Approach; evaluation; Italian education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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