Mothers' Labour Market Participation: Do Grandparents Make it Easier?

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7065, December 2012

44 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2013

See all articles by Bruno Arpino

Bruno Arpino

Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics

Chiara Pronzato

University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)

Lara Patrício Tavares

ISCSP - Universidade de Lisboa

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 1, 2012

Abstract

Childcare arrangements are key in women's ability to juggle motherhood and working outside the home. As such, the study of the access to childcare and its use is of great policy relevance. We focus on a particular kind of informal childcare, the one provided by grandparents. Empirically, assessing the effect of grandparental childcare is not an easy task due to unobserved preferences. In light of the potential outcome framework, we interpret the biases resulting from unobserved preferences as arising from the non-compliance of mothers to the availability of grandparents and from preferences of grandparents for activities other than childcare. Using an Instrumental Variable approach on Italian data, we find that the effect of grandparental childcare on mothers’ labour supply is positive, statistically significant and economically relevant. The effect is stronger for lower educated mothers, with young children and living in the North and Centre.

Keywords: female labour market participation, grandparental childcare, intergenerational transfers, instrumental variables, unobserved preferences

JEL Classification: J10, J13, C26

Suggested Citation

Arpino, Bruno and Pronzato, Chiara and Tavares, L., Mothers' Labour Market Participation: Do Grandparents Make it Easier? (December 1, 2012). IZA Discussion Paper No. 7065, December 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2284853 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2284853

Bruno Arpino

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, E-08005
Spain

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Chiara Pronzato

University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

L. Tavares (Contact Author)

ISCSP - Universidade de Lisboa ( email )

Rua Almerindo Lessa
Lisboa, 1300-663
Portugal

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