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“Deae ex Machina”: migrant women, care work and women’s employment in Greece


  • Antigone Lyberaki


This paper is about women’s work in the context of fast socioeconomic change. Drawing from feminist analyses on women’s work and the care sector, it highlights the link between women’s paid employment and the supply of low-paid immigrant (female) labour in Greece in the sphere of care provision. It examines three issues: First, the acceleration of women’s involvement in the paid labour force after 1990. Second, the parallel influx of immigrants in Greece –half of whom are female (of which, half are involved in service provision for households). And third, the “big picture” of the demand for care (both paid and unpaid, childcare as well as care for the elderly) in the context of ageing and rising female participation in paid work. The analysis highlights the key contribution of migrant women acting as catalysts for social change, the ‘deae ex machina’ of the story.

Suggested Citation

  • Antigone Lyberaki, 2008. "“Deae ex Machina”: migrant women, care work and women’s employment in Greece," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 20, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:hel:greese:20

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agneta Stark, 2005. "Warm Hands In Cold Age — On The Need Of A New World Order Of Care," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 7-36.
    2. André Sapir, 2006. "Globalization and the Reform of European Social Models," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 369-390, June.
    3. Nancy Folbre & Julie A. Nelson, 2000. "For Love or Money--Or Both?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 123-140, Fall.
    4. Agar Brugiavini & Tullio Jappelli & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "The Survey on Health, Aging and Wealth," CSEF Working Papers 86, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    5. Francesca Bettio & Janneke Plantenga, 2004. "Comparing Care Regimes In Europe," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 85-113.
    6. Julie Nelson, 1999. "Of Markets And Martyrs: Is It OK To Pay Well For Care?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 43-59.
    7. Nancy Folbre, 1995. ""Holding hands at midnight": The paradox of caring labor," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 73-92.
    8. Deirdre McCloskey, 1996. "Love and money: A comment on the markets debate," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 137-140.
    9. Folbre, Nancy, 1994. "Children as Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 86-90, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Spyros Kosmidis, 2013. "Government Constraints and Economic Voting in Greece," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 70, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    2. Monokroussos, Platon & Thomakos, Dimitrios, D. & Alexopoulos, Thomas A., 2016. "The determinants of loan loss provisions:an analysis of the Greek banking systemin light of the sovereign debt crisis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68586, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Rosa VAsilaki, 2016. "Policing the crisis in Greece: The others' side of the story," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 98, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.

    More about this item


    female migrants; care services provision; elderly; family structure; female employment participation.;

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