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Measuring the interaction between parents and children in Italian families: a structural equation approach


  • Anna Maccagnan



In this paper we theoretically and empirically analyse the capability to social interaction between parents and children in Italy, within a capability approach framework. For this purpose, after having identified the functionings and conversion factors related to this capability, we have built an integrated dataset for year 2008 with a procedure inspired to the propensity score matching. This allows us to work on a wide set of information, both on the realized functionings, ands on the personal and familiar factors that are likely to affect childrens attainments. We have analysed this data using descriptive statistics and structural equation modelling. Our results suggest lower levels of interaction for fathers that for mothers. Further, childrens capability to interact with the parents is negatively affected by the number of siblings in the household, by childs increasing age and by living in the South of Italy. Also parents characteristics are crucial: highly educated fathers tend to perform better in their interaction with the child and father-child relationship, furthermore, is positively affected by the fact that the mother is employed, while motherchild interaction does not significantly change.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Maccagnan, 2011. "Measuring the interaction between parents and children in Italian families: a structural equation approach," Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) 0084, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".
  • Handle: RePEc:mod:cappmo:0084

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alison Booth & Hiau Kee, 2009. "Birth order matters: the effect of family size and birth order on educational attainment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(2), pages 367-397, April.
    2. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    3. Tindara Addabbo & Maria Laura Di Tommaso & Gisella Facchinetti, 2004. "To what extent fuzzy set theory and structural equation modelling can measure functionings? An application to child well being," CHILD Working Papers wp30_04, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    4. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
    5. Tindara Addabbo & Gisella Facchinetti & Anna Maccagnan & Giovanni Mastroleo & Tommaso Pirotti, 2008. "The Interaction between Parents and Children as a Relevant Dimension of Child Well Being. The Case of Italy," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 015, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    6. Phipps, Shelley, 2002. "The Well-Being of Young Canadian Children in International Perspective: A Functionings Approach," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(4), pages 493-515, December.
    7. Raquel Bernal, 2008. "The Effect Of Maternal Employment And Child Care On Children'S Cognitive Development," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1173-1209, November.
    8. Di Tommaso, Maria Laura, 2007. "Children capabilities: A structural equation model for India," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 436-450, June.
    9. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
    10. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1997. "Introducing Household Production in Collective Models of Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 191-209, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Antoanneta Potsi & Antonella D’Agostino & Caterina Giusti & Linda Porciani, 2016. "Childhood and capability deprivation in Italy: a multidimensional and fuzzy set approach," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(6), pages 2571-2590, November.

    More about this item


    Capability Approach; Human Development; Structural Equation Models;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics

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