NTA2020 Donehower

Global Meeting on Population and the Generational Economy, August 2020

Presentation: Gretchen Donehower, The Care Economy in an Uncertain Future


Care work includes the paid and unpaid care directly provided to children, elders, sick or disabled persons, as well as the indirect care provided through general housework and households management. We can measure the current state of the care economy using time use and other household surveys. Results from the United States indicate that a large portion of the total time populations spend on care work is unpaid, women do more of this work than men in both the paid and unpaid sectors, and most direct care is for children rather than adults or elders. How might these patterns change in the future, and what might that mean for the balance of demand and supply of care? Using population projections, we can explore the potential impacts of population aging on future unpaid care work demand and supply and find no potential for a care shortfall. Changing levels of cognitive impairment and changes in parental care practices could significantly alter this picture, however.

File: NTA2020 Donehower

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