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Use of Time and Value of Unpaid Family Care Work: a Comparison between Italy and Poland




The study provides a comparison of the size and value of unpaid family care work in two European member States, Italy and Poland. A micro-data analysis is conducted using the Italian and Polish time use surveys. Both the opportunity cost and the market replacement approaches are employed to measure family care work distinguishing between childcare and care of the elderly. The comparison between the two countries reveals that Italians participate somewhat less than Poles in child care, but substantially more in elderly care, because of demographic factors. However, the main explanation of the difference in the value of unpaid family care work, which is higher in Italy, is to be attributed to the discrepancy in hourly earnings, since average earnings of Poles are about one fifth of those of Italians. The value of unpaid family care work is more comparable when computed as percentage of the national GDP. Depending on the approach, it ranges between 3.7 and 4.4 per cent of the Polish GDP and 4.1 and 5 per cent of the Italian GDP. The national values of these activities are discussed and an interpretation of the country differentials in the family caretaking gender gaps is given in terms of differences in culture, economic development and institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesca Francavilla, & Gianna Claudia Giannelli & Gabriela Grotkowska & Mieczyslaw W. Socha, 2011. "Use of Time and Value of Unpaid Family Care Work: a Comparison between Italy and Poland," Working Papers - Economics wp2011_03.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  • Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2011_03.rdf

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jens Bonke & Mette Deding & Mette Lausten & Leslie S. Stratton, 2008. "Intra-Household Specialization in Housework in the United States and Denmark," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 89(4), pages 1023-1043.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cecilia Lara & Marisa Bucheli, 2017. "Producción del hogar por edad y sexo: nueva evidencia para Uruguay," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, vol. 78, February.
    2. Stuart, Sheila, 2014. "Situation of unpaid work and gender in the Caribbean: The measurement of unpaid work through time-use studies," Studies and Perspectives – ECLAC Subregional Headquarters for The Caribbean 34, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).

    More about this item


    Time Use; Unpaid Work; Care-giving; Child care; Elderly care; Poland; Italy;

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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