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Measuring the value of unpaid household, caring and voluntary work of older Australians

  • David de Vaus

    (La Trobe University)

  • Matthew Gray

    (Australian National University)

  • David Stanton

    (Stanton Strategic Solutions)

As the populations in many countries age, the direct financial costs to governments are expected to rise due to the income support and health costs associated with an older population. A focus on these financial costs has led to an unduly negative, problem-oriented view of population ageing that neglects the contribution of older citizens to the social and economic wellbeing of the nation. This paper explores just one aspect of the contributions of older Australians and demonstrates that, as an age cohort, older people make valuable economic contributions to Australian society through the time they spend in voluntary work and in unpaid caring in their own household, to their family members in other households, and to non-family members in the wider community. It is estimated that Australians aged over 65 years contribute almost $39 billion per year in unpaid caring and voluntary work and, if the unpaid contribution of those aged 55 to 64 years is included, this contribution rises to $74.5 billion per annum.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/lab/papers/0405/0405006.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0405006.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 14 May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0405006
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 24
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Duncan Ironmonger, 1996. "Counting outputs, capital inputs and caring labor: Estimating gross household product," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 37-64.
  2. Apps, P.F. & Rees, R., 1993. "Labour Supply, Household Production and Intra-Family Welfare Distribution," Working Papers 1993-3, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  3. Fitzgerald, John & Wicks, John, 1990. "Measuring the Value of Household Output: A Comparison of Direct and Indirect Approaches," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 36(2), pages 129-41, June.
  4. Lourdes Beneria, 1996. "Thou shalt not live by statistics alone, but it might help," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 139-142.
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