An analysis of gender disparities in time transfers by socio-economic status and geographic area: The case of Italy (Marina Zannella)
Non-cash familial contributions to the welfare of family members are almost invisible and pose several measurement issues. Although non-market production of goods and services is less significant today than in the past, it still represents a fundamental component of the intergenerational transfer of resources. The importance of informal care provides a particularly strong argument to go beyond the traditional focus on cash transfers, especially in the context of an aging population and the consequently increasing differentiation and complexity of needs.
Gender disparities in household production, and consequently in time transfers, are affected by a complex interaction of micro- and macro-level factors. Among the former, individual (i.e., education, level of income, labor-market participation) and household (i.e., number of children, age of the youngest child) characteristics appear to be of particular relevance. Among macro-level factors, social policies, labor-market regulations, and the underlying socio-economic context exert a strong influence.
This analysis builds on micro-data from the latest Italian Time Use Survey (2008/2009). As a complement to existing studies of gender disparities in unpaid work, the research measures intergenerational transfers, accounting for household production, consumption, and time transfers according to individual, household and country-specific characteristics. In particular, given the existence of significant socio-economic differences across Italy, it provides estimates at three regional levels: the North, the Center, and the South.