The Gender Gap in Informal Child Care: Theory and Some Evidence from Italy

27 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2019 Last revised: 29 Jul 2019

See all articles by Francesca Barigozzi

Francesca Barigozzi

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Helmuth Cremer

University of Toulouse (GREMAQ & IDEI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Chiara Monfardini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2019

Abstract

Our model studies couples' time allocation and career choices, which are affected by a social norm on gender roles in the family. Parents can provide two types of informal child care: basic care (feeding, changing children, baby-sitting) and quality care (activities that stimulate children's social and cognitive skills). We obtain the following main results. Traditional mothers provide some informal basic care, whereas career mothers purchase full time formal basic care in the market. Informal basic care is too large and the group of career mothers is too small because of the social norm. Informal quality care is increasing in the couple's income and is provided in larger amount by mothers. We test the model's predictions for Italy using the most recent ISTAT "Use of Time" survey. In line with the model, mothers devote more time than fathers to both basic and quality informal care; more educated parents devote more time to quality informal care than less educated parents; more educated mothers spend more time in the labor market than less educated mothers.

Keywords: basic and quality child care, gender gaps, Social norms, women's career choices

JEL Classification: D13, H23, J16, J22

Suggested Citation

Barigozzi, Francesca and Cremer, Helmuth and Monfardini, Chiara, The Gender Gap in Informal Child Care: Theory and Some Evidence from Italy (June 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13782. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3401869

Francesca Barigozzi (Contact Author)

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

P.zza Scaravilli 2
40126 Bologna, 40126
Italy

Helmuth Cremer

University of Toulouse (GREMAQ & IDEI) ( email )

Toulouse, 31000
France
+33 1 6112 8606 (Phone)
+33 1 6112 8637 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Chiara Monfardini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40126
Italy
0039 51 2098148 (Phone)
0039 51 221968 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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