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Labor Supply and Child Care Costs: The Effect of Rationing

  • Daniela Del Boca

    (University of Turin)

  • Daniela Vuri

    (University of Florence)

In Italy the participation of women has not increased very much in the last few decades relative to other developed countries and it is still among the lowest in Europe. The female employment rate stands almost 13 percentage points below the EU average and 22 below the Lisbon target. One of the most important reasons is related to the characteristics of child care system. In this paper we analyze the characteristics of the child care system in Italy and its relationship to the labor market participation decision of mothers. We present a simple discrete choice framework in which the two decisions can be jointly considered, which also allows for simple forms of rationing and estimate a bivariate probit model of the child care and employment decisions and interpret the results within the framework of our model. We find evidence that rationing is an important factor in interpreting price effects on utilization rates.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0510016.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 17 Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0510016
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 41
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Connelly, Rachel, 1992. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on Married Women's Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 83-90, February.
  3. Maria Chiuri, 2000. "Quality and Demand of Child Care and Female Labour Supply in Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 14(1), pages 97-118, 03.
  4. Siv Gustafsson & Frank Stafford, 1992. "Child Care Subsidies and Labor Supply in Sweden," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 204-230.
  5. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Effects of Child-Care Programs on Women's Work Effort," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S136-S163, Part II, .
  6. Susan L. Averett & H. Elizabeth Peters & Donald M. Waldman, . "Tax Credits, Labor Supply, and Child Care," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 92-9a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  7. A. Chevalier & T. K. Viitanen, 2002. "The causality between female labour force participation and the availability of childcare," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(14), pages 915-918.
  8. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
  9. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Tom Kornstad & Thor Thoresen, 2007. "A discrete choice model for labor supply and childcare," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 781-803, October.
  11. David C. Ribar, 1992. "Child Care and the Labor Supply of Married Women: Reduced Form Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 134-165.
  12. Boeri, Tito & Del Boca, Daniela & Pissarides, Christopher (ed.), 2005. "Women at Work: An Economic Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199281886, March.
  13. Ermisch, John F, 1989. "Purchased Child Care, Optimal Family Size and Mother's Employment: Theory and Econometric Analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 79-102.
  14. Ribar, D.C., 1991. "A Structural Model of Child Care and the Labor Supply of Married Women," Papers 1-91-1, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  15. Del Boca, Daniela & Locatelli, Marilena & Vuri, Daniela, 2004. "Child Care Choices by Italian Households," IZA Discussion Papers 983, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1988. "Child-Care Costs and Family Labor Supply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 374-81, August.
  17. Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Child Care Costs and Mothers' Labor Supply: An Empirical Analysis for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 412, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  18. Jean Kimmel, 1998. "Child Care Costs As A Barrier To Employment For Single And Married Mothers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 287-299, May.
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