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

Author

Listed:
  • David de Vaus

    (La Trobe University)

  • Matthew Gray

    (Australian National University)

  • David Stanton

    (Stanton Strategic Solutions)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • David de Vaus & Matthew Gray & David Stanton, 2004. "Measuring the value of unpaid household, caring and voluntary work of older Australians," Labor and Demography 0405006, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0405006
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 24
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    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/lab/papers/0405/0405006.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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., 1996. "Labour supply, household production and intra-family welfare distribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 199-219, May.
    3. 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.
    4. 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 129-141, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Liam Delaney & Francis O'Toole, 2008. "Preferences for specific social welfare expenditures in Ireland," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(12), pages 985-989.
    2. Catherine Pollak & Nicolas Sirven, 2011. "The social economy of ageing: Job quality and pathways beyond the labour market in Europe," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 11066, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    3. Delaney, Liam & Fahey, Tony, 2005. "Social and Economic Value of Sport in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BMI180.
    4. Choi, Eun-Young & Johnson, Thomas G., 2014. "Economic Impact of the Informal Childcare Sector in Kansas," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 44(1).

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    JEL classification:

    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics

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