Manuela Naldini, Emmanuele Pavolini, Cristina Solera

Does Caring for the Elderly Affect Mid-Life Women's Employment? Differences across Care-Work Regimes

  • Abstract

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Does caring for an elderly person affect employment of women aged between 43 and 57? What is the role of the institutional and cultural context? Are there differences across "care-work regimes"? This study draws on Eurobarometer microdata, which have been integrated with institutional country-level datasets, and by means of cluster analysis and multilevel analysis across 21 European countries it analyses the main micro and macro factors that influence decisions to give up or reduce (or not) paid work when having to care for a frail elderly parent. The results show that living in a care-work regime, different in terms of care policies, care and family cultures, and overall women's activity rates, matters. In Scandinavian countries - the most de-familialised ones - women rarely change their labour market participation for elderly caregiving. Conversely, where service coverage is lower and intergenerational family care obligations higher, as in Southern and Eastern European countries, employment of women aged between 43 and 57 is discouraged.

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