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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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10742
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
    2. repec:oup:cesifo:v:62:y:2016:i:4:p:752-775. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Patrick Kline & Christopher R. Walters, 2016. "Evaluating Public Programs with Close Substitutes: The Case of HeadStart," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1795-1848.
    4. James Heckman & Neil Hohmann & Jeffrey Smith & Michael Khoo, 2000. "Substitution and Dropout Bias in Social Experiments: A Study of an Influential Social Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 651-694.
    5. Joseph P. Romano & Michael Wolf, 2005. "Exact and Approximate Stepdown Methods for Multiple Hypothesis Testing," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 94-108, March.
    6. Romano, Joseph P. & Wolf, Michael, 2016. "Efficient computation of adjusted p-values for resampling-based stepdown multiple testing," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 38-40.
    7. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
    8. Daniela Del Boca & Chiara Pronzato & Giuseppe Sorrenti, 2016. "When Rationing Plays a Role: Selection Criteria in the Italian Early Childcare System," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 62(4), pages 752-775.
    9. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    childcare; early childhood education; Reggio Approach; evaluation; Italian education;

    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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