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Exploring the Impacts of Public Childcare on Mothers and Children in Italy: Does Rationing Play a Role?

  • Brilli, Ylenia

    ()

    (European University Institute)

  • Del Boca, Daniela

    ()

    (University of Turin)

  • Pronzato, Chiara D.

    ()

    (University of Turin)

This paper investigates the effects of public childcare availability in Italy on mothers' working status and children's scholastic achievements. We use a newly available dataset containing individual standardized test scores of pupils attending second grade of primary school in 2008-09 in conjunction with data on public childcare availability. Public childcare coverage in Italy is scarce (12.7 percent versus the OECD average of 30 percent) and the service is “rationed”: each municipality allocates the available slots according to eligibility criteria. We contribute to the existing literature taking into account rationing in public childcare access and the functioning of the childcare market. Our estimates indicate that childcare availability has positive and significant effects on both mothers' working status and children's language test scores. The effects are stronger when the degree of rationing is high and for low educated mothers and children living in lower income areas of the country.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5918.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Does child care availability play a role in maternal employment and children's development? Evidence from Italy' in: Review of Economics of the Household, 2013, [Online First]
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5918
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  1. Daniela Del Boca & Silvia Pasqua & Chiara Pronzato, 2009. "Motherhood and market work decisions in institutional context: a European perspective," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(suppl_1), pages i147-i171, April.
  2. Susanna Loeb & Margaret Bridges & Bruce Fuller & Russ Rumberger & Daphna Bassok, 2005. "How Much is Too Much? The Influence of Preschool Centers on Children's Social and Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 11812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Pronzato, Chiara, 2007. "Return to work after childbirth: does parental leave matter in Europe?," ISER Working Paper Series 2007-30, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  5. Fitzpatrick Maria D, 2008. "Starting School at Four: The Effect of Universal Pre-Kindergarten on Children's Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-40, November.
  6. Chiara Pronzato, 2012. "An examination of paternal and maternal intergenerational transmission of schooling," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 591-608, January.
  7. Daniela Del Boca & Marilena Locatelli & Daniela Vuri, 2005. "Child-Care Choices by Working Mothers: The Case of Italy," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 453-477, December.
  8. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Marianne Simonsen, 2010. "Effects of Universal Child Care Participation on Pre-teen Skills and Risky Behaviors," Economics Working Papers 2010-07, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  9. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2011. "Money for nothing? Universal child care and maternal employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1455-1465.
  10. Daniela Del Boca & Daniela Vuri, 2007. "The mismatch between employment and child care in Italy: the impact of rationing," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 805-832, October.
  11. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 7666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Daniela Del Boca & Robert M. Sauer, 2006. "Life Cycle Employment and Fertility Across Institutional Environments," CHILD Working Papers wp14_06, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  14. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2005. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 11832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Emilia Del Bono & Massimiliano Bratti & Daniela Vuri, 2004. "New mothers’ labour force participation in Italy: the role of job characteristics," CHILD Working Papers wp05_04, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  16. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2009. "No Child Left Behind: Universal Child Care and Children’s Long-Run Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 4561, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Katherine A. Magnuson & Christopher J. Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2004. "Does Prekindergarten Improve School Preparation and Performance?," NBER Working Papers 10452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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).
  19. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2010. "Is Universal Child Care Leveling the Playing Field? Evidence from Non-Linear Difference-in-Differences," IZA Discussion Papers 4978, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Elizabeth U. Cascio, 2009. "Maternal Labor Supply and the Introduction of Kindergartens into American Public Schools," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
  21. Maria Alessandra Antonelli & Veronica Grembi, 2010. "The More Public The More Private? The Case Of The Italian Childcare," Working Papers 0310, CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre, revised 2010.
  22. Jeffrey Milyo & David M. Primo & Matthew L. Jacobsmeier, 2006. "Estimating the Impact of State Policies and Institutions with Mixed-Level Data," Working Papers 0603, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  23. Holmlund, Helena & Lindahl, Mikael & Plug, Erik, 2010. "The Causal Eff ect of Parent’s Schooling on Children’s Schooling," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2010:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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