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Information and Women’s Intentions: Experimental Evidence About Child Care

Vincenzo Galasso (), Paola Profeta (), Chiara Pronzato () and Francesco Billari ()

European Journal of Population, 2017, vol. 33, issue 1, 109-128

Abstract: Abstract We investigate the effect of providing information about the benefits to children of attending formal child care when women intend to use formal child care so they can work. We postulate that the reaction to the information differs across women according to their characteristics, specifically their level of education. We present a randomized experiment in which 700 Italian women of reproductive age with no children are exposed to positive information about formal child care through a text message or a video, while others are not. We find a positive effect on the intention to use formal child care and a negative effect on the intention to work. This average result hides important heterogeneities: the positive effect on formal child care use is driven by high-educated women, while the negative effect on work intention is found only among less-educated women. These findings may be explained by women’s education reflecting their work–family orientation, and their ability to afford formal child care.

Keywords: Female labor supply; Education; Gender roles (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J2 J16 J13 J18 Z1 C99 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:spr:eurpop:v:33:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10680-016-9400-6