Does Information Matter for Women Decisions? Experimental Evidence from Childcare

Vincenzo Galasso, Universita’ della Svizzera Italiana
Paola Profeta, Università Bocconi
Chiara Pronzato, Università degli Studi di Torino

Gender stereotypes are eradicated also among women. A recent literature suggests that learning from other women experience about the effects of maternal employment on children outcomes may increase female labor force participation. In this paper, we design a survey experiment to provide a direct analysis of how direct information on the positive consequences of formal childcare on children outcomes affects decisions about the use of formal child care and female labor market participation. Our survey experiment, carried out on a sample of 1500 Italian women, shows in fact that high educated women (non-mothers) are convinced by our positive message to send their (future) children to formal child care, and to pay more for it, while low educated (non-mothers) do not increase their use of formal child care, but wish to take more on themselves the care of their (future) children, and thus reduce their willingness to work in the market.

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Presented in Poster Session 4