DONDENA Seminar Series FALL 15/15/2022


Child Care Markets, Parental Labor Supply, and Child Development


We develop and estimate a model of supply and demand for child care. On the demand side, one- and two-parent households make consumption, labor supply, and childcare decisions. On the supply side, non-parental care providers include child care centers, paid caregivers who operate at the child’s home, and unpaid, informal care-
givers. Centers make entry, price, and quality decisions under monopolistic competition. Child development is a function of the time spent with each parent and non-parental care providers; these inputs vary in impact. We estimate the model’s structural parameters using the 2003 Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which contains information on parental employment and wages, child care choices, child development, and center quality. We allow for household locations that differ in size and median family income.

We use our estimates to evaluate multiple policies including vouchers, cash transfers, and public provision. Vouchers that can only be used in high-quality centers or that require mothers to work are particularly effective, as they deliver child development gains while increasing mothers’ labor supply, thereby limiting policies’ fiscal cost.



Luca Flabbi is Professor in the Economics Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an applied micro-economist and econometrician with expertise in labor, population and development economics and in applied econometric methods. His research focuses on gender differentials in labor markets, labor market search and frictions, earnings inequality across skill groups, informality, intergenerational mobility, and schooling decisions. Before joining UNC, he worked as Senior Research Economist in the research department at the Inter-American Development Bank and as Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at Georgetown University. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from New York University and from the Universities of Milan Consortium. He holds a B.Sc. in Social and Economic Sciences from Bocconi University.


Please note that the seminar will be in a hybrid format (presence + Zoom meetings at the following link:

This seminar has been co-organized with Bocconi's AXA Lab for Gender Equality