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GDP and the Value of Family Caretaking: How Much Does Europe Care?

  • Giannelli, Gianna Claudia


    (University of Florence)

  • Mangiavacchi, Lucia


    (University of the Balearic Islands)

  • Piccoli, Luca


    (University of the Balearic Islands)

This study estimates the size and value of unpaid family caretaking activities at a European level. While at a country level several studies are available, a comprehensive evaluation for Europe as a whole was missing so far, mainly due to data limitations. This paper fills this gap using a method that merges the information of an EU household survey (EU-SILC) with a time use survey (HETUS). Monetary values of unpaid family domestic work and unpaid family childcare work are obtained applying both the opportunity cost and the market replacement approaches. For Europe as a whole, the total value of these activities ranges between 20.1 per cent and 36.8 per cent of the EU GDP, depending on the applied methodology. 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 welfare state.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5046.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Applied Economics, 2012, 44(16), 2111-2131.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5046
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  1. Lisa Powell, 1998. "Part-time versus full-time work and child care costs: evidence for married mothers," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 503-511.
  2. Anxo, Dominique & Flood, Lennart & Mencarini, Letizia & Pailhé, Ariane & Solaz, Anne & Tanturri, Maria Letizia, 2007. "Time Allocation between Work and Family over the Life-Cycle: A Comparative Gender Analysis of Italy, France, Sweden and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3193, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Landefeld, J Steven & McCulla, Stephanie H, 2000. "Accounting for Nonmarket Household Production within a National Accounts Framework," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(3), pages 289-307, September.
  4. Eisner, Robert, et al, 1982. "Total Incomes in the United States, 1946-1976: A Summary Report," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 28(2), pages 133-74, June.
  5. George Davis & Wen You, 2010. "The time cost of food at home: general and food stamp participant profiles," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(20), pages 2537-2552.
  6. Nieves lazaro & Maria Luisa Molto & Rosario Sanchez, 2004. "Paid employment and unpaid caring work in Spain," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(9), pages 977-986.
  7. Chris Jackson, 1996. "The valuation of unpaid work at statistics Canada," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 145-148.
  8. Goldschmidt-Clermont, Luisella & Pagnossin-Aligisakis, Elisabetta, 1999. "Households' Non-SNA Production: Labour Time, Value of Labour and of Product, and Contribution to Extended Private Consumption," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(4), pages 519-29, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Kendrick, John W, 1979. "Expanding Imputed Values in the National Income and Product Accounts," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 25(4), pages 349-63, December.
  11. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
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