The Effect of Grandparental Support on Mothers’ Labour Market Participation: An Instrumental Variable Approach

European Journal of Population (online) DOI 10.1007/s10680-014-9319-8

Posted: 10 Aug 2014

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

Date Written: July 30, 2014

Abstract

Childcare arrangements are key in women’s ability to juggle motherhood and work outside the home. As such, the study of 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 less educated mothers, with young children and living in northern and central Italy.

Suggested Citation

Arpino, Bruno and Pronzato, Chiara and Tavares, L., The Effect of Grandparental Support on Mothers’ Labour Market Participation: An Instrumental Variable Approach (July 30, 2014). European Journal of Population (online) DOI 10.1007/s10680-014-9319-8. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2477849

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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