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The Gender Gap in Informal Child Care: Theory and Some Evidence from Italy

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  • Barigozzi, Francesca

    () (University of Bologna)

  • Cremer, Helmuth

    () (Toulouse School of Economics)

  • Monfardini, Chiara

    () (University of Bologna)

Abstract

Our model studies couples. time allocation and career choices, which are a¤ected by a social norm on gender roles in the family. Parents can provide two types of informal child care: basic care (feeding, changing children, baby-sitting) and quality care (activities that stimulate children.s social and cognitive skills). We obtain the following main results. Traditional mothers provide some informal basic care, whereas career mothers purchase full time formal basic care in the market. Informal basic care is too large and the group of career mothers is too small because of the social norm. Informal quality care is increasing in the couple.s income and is provided in larger amount by mothers. We test the model.s predictions for Italy using the most recent ISTAT "Use of Time" survey. In line with the model, mothers devote more time than fathers to both basic and quality informal care; more educated parents devote more time to quality informal care than less educated parents; more educated mothers spend more time in the labor market than less educated mothers.

Suggested Citation

  • Barigozzi, Francesca & Cremer, Helmuth & Monfardini, Chiara, 2019. "The Gender Gap in Informal Child Care: Theory and Some Evidence from Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 12403, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12403
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    1. Barigozzi, Francesca & Cremer, Helmuth & Roeder, Kerstin, 2020. "Having it all, for all: Child-care subsidies and income distribution reconciled," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 188-211.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    women's career choices; basic and quality child care; gender gaps; social norms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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