Evaluation of the Reggio Approach to Early Education

50 Pages Posted: 8 May 2017

See all articles by Pietro Biroli

Pietro Biroli

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Daniela Del Boca

University of Turin - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD)

James J. Heckman

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); American Bar Foundation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Lynne Heckman

University of Chicago

Yu Koh

University of Chicago

Sylvi Kuperman

University of Chicago

Sidharth Moktan

University of Chicago

Chiara Pronzato

University of Turin - Department of Economics S. Cognetti de Martiis

Anna Ziff

University of Chicago

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Abstract

We evaluate the Reggio Approach using non-experimental data on individuals from the cities of Reggio Emilia, Parma and Padova belonging to one of five age cohorts: ages 50, 40, 30, 18, and 6 as of 2012. The treated were exposed to municipally offered infant-toddler (ages 0–3) and preschool (ages 3–6) programs. The control group either didn't receive formal childcare or were exposed to programs offered by the state or religious systems. We exploit the city-cohort structure of the data to estimate treatment effects using three strategies: difference-in-differences, matching, and matched-difference-in-differences. Most positive and significant effects are generated from comparisons of the treated with individuals who did not receive formal childcare. Relative to not receiving formal care, the Reggio Approach significantly boosts outcomes related to employment, socio-emotional skills, high school graduation, election participation, and obesity. Comparisons with individuals exposed to alternative forms of childcare do not yield strong patterns of positive and significant effects. This suggests that differences between the Reggio Approach and other alternatives are not sufficiently large to result in significant differences in outcomes. This interpretation is supported by our survey, which documents increasing similarities in the administrative and pedagogical practices of childcare systems in the three cities over time.

Keywords: childcare, early childhood education, Reggio Approach, evaluation, Italian education

JEL Classification: I21, I26, I28, J13

Suggested Citation

Biroli, Pietro and Del Boca, Daniela and Heckman, James J. and Heckman, Lynne and Koh, Yu and Kuperman, Sylvi and Moktan, Sidharth and Pronzato, Chiara and Ziff, Anna, Evaluation of the Reggio Approach to Early Education. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10742. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2964131

Pietro Biroli (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zürich
Switzerland

Daniela Del Boca

University of Turin - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Po, 53
Torino, 10124
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD)

Turin, TO
Italy

James J. Heckman

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-0634 (Phone)
773-702-8490 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

American Bar Foundation

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Lynne Heckman

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Yu Koh

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Sylvi Kuperman

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Sidharth Moktan

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Chiara Pronzato

University of Turin - Department of Economics S. Cognetti de Martiis ( email )

Via Po' 53
Torino, 10124
Italy

Anna Ziff

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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