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THE MORE PUBLIC THE MORE PRIVATE? THE CASE OF THE ITALIAN CHILDCARE

Maria Alessandra Antonelli and Veronica Grembi

No 310, Working Papers from CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre

Abstract: Childcare availability is regarded as an important factor in the evaluation of public policies for both sustaining fertility and increasing women participation to the labour market. However, the recent empirical literature shows that the extension of the public supply of childcare mainly crowds out private providers. Italy is a case of special interest for testing the relationship between the pub- lic and private supply of childcare given that: 1) an increase in public childcare provision can be achieved through broadly conceived forms of out-sourcing; 2) public childcare for children less than 3 years old can be considered as a ser- vice with high redistributive goals, which determines a sorting mechanism of the demand between public and private providers. We use Italian data at the munic- ipality level for the period 2000-2006 to explain the number of registered private providers of childcare as a function of 1) the public coverage of the 0-2 years old population, and 2) the main characteristics of the public service. We show that the public coverage positively a¤ects the number of private providers. When the characteristics of public supply are considered, the e¤ect of a sorting mechanism is con?rmed.

Keywords: Child Care; Italian Municipalities; Private-Public Mix (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24 pages
Date: 2010, Revised 2010
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