Children Capabilities and Family Characteristics in Italy
This paper explores the possibilities of using structural equation modelling to measure capabilities of Italian children. In particular the paper focuses on two capabilities: “Senses, Imagination and Thought” and “Leisure and Play Activities ”. The indicators used to measure the capability of ‘Senses, imagination and thought’ for 6-13 years old children are attitude towards education, attendance to arts classes and other type of extra curriculum classes like computing and languages. The variables used as indicators of the capability of “Leisure and play activities” include how often children play in playground, various types of games, attendance to sports classes. We use both descriptive statistics, an ordered probit model, and a structural equation model in order to investigate the relation among the above mentioned indicators, the latent construct for capabilities and a set of covariates. Moreover we use a new data set in order to include family income among the covariates. The data result from the matching (through a propensity score method) of two data sets: Bank of Italy Survey on Income and Wealth for year 2000 and Istat Families, social subjects and childhood condition for year 1998.
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