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Child care, maternal employment, and children’s school outcomes. An analysis of Italian data

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In this paper we analyse the impact of mothers' employment status and formal child care attendance during early childhood on children’s school grades later in life, controlling for socio-demographic factors. We use the year 2008 of the Italian ISFOL-PLUS dataset. The dataset provides information on each respondent’s demographic characteristics, as well as a set of retrospective information on the individual’s school grades at the end of junior high school, high school, and university; along with (in the 2008 wave only) information about the respondent’s formal child care attendance and mother’s employment status when he or she was under age of three. We estimate the effects of maternal employment and child care attendance on the probability that the respondent would have high grades at the end of high school. Since maternal employment and child care attendance are likely to be endogenously determined, we use an Instrumental Variable (IV) approach. Our empirical results show that while having a mother who was working (during early childhood) had no significant effect on an individual’s high school grades, child care attendance had a positive and significant effect. These results have potential policy implications. As maternal employment does not seem to negatively affect the development process of children, while child care attendance appears to have a positive impact on academic achievement, policy makers should consider expanding the availability of child care, and promoting women's participation in the labour market.

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  • Del Boca, Daniela & Pasqua, Silvia & Suardi, Simona, 2015. "Child care, maternal employment, and children’s school outcomes. An analysis of Italian data," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201549, University of Turin.
  • Handle: RePEc:uto:dipeco:201549
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    1. Child care, maternal employment, and children’s school outcomes. An analysis of Italian data
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-02-11 23:34:31

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    2. Cerciello, Massimiliano & Agovino, Massimiliano & Garofalo, Antonio, 2019. "The caring hand that cripples? The effects of the European regional policy on local labour market participation in Southern Italy," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    3. Corazzini, Luca & Meschi, Elena & Pavese, Caterina, 2019. "Impact of Early Childcare on Immigrant Children’s Educational Performance," GLO Discussion Paper Series 394, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Tine Hufkens & Francesco Figari & Dieter Vandelannoote & Gerlinde Verbist, 2019. "Investing in Subsidized Childcare to Reduce Child Poverty: an Adequate Strategy?," JRC Working Papers on Taxation & Structural Reforms 2019-06, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    5. Daniela Del Boca & Christopher Flinn & Daniela Piazzalunga & Chiara Pronzato & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Matthew Wiswall, 2018. "Childcare Choices and Child Development: a Cross-Country Analysis," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 556, Collegio Carlo Alberto.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior

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