Caregiving time costs and trade-offs with paid work and leisure: evidence from Sweden, the UK and Canada

Maria A. Stanfors, Lund University
Josephine Jacobs, Veterans Health Administration
Jeffrey Neilson, Lund University

Population ageing places pressure on pensions and health/caring services, creating an imperative to extend working lives. Alongside this, there has been increased political emphasis in Europe and elsewhere on the provision of care in the home. Many older people will thus be challenged by the responsibilities of caring for the sick, disabled and elderly, and participating in labor market activities. This paper investigates the conflicts that arise from this; more specifically what the time costs of unpaid care are and how caregiving time is traded-off against time in paid work and leisure time among men and women? We use time diary data from Sweden, the UK and Canada from 1990 to the present for multivariate analyses. Results indicate that both gender and educational differences in informal caregiving and trade-offs differ significantly across contexts with respect to the extensiveness of social infrastructure for caring with Sweden being more equal than elsewhere.

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Presented in Session 37: Consequences of care-giving