Reducing and Redistributing Unpaid Work: Stronger Policies to Support Gender Equality

36 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2019

See all articles by Cristian Alonso

Cristian Alonso

Princeton University, Department of Economics, Students

Mariya Brussevich

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Era Dabla-Norris

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Yuko Kinoshita

International Monetary Fund (IMF); University of Michigan, William Davidson Institute; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Kalpana Kochhar

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: October 2019

Abstract

Unpaid work, such as caring for children, the elderly, and household chores represents a significant share of economic activity but is not counted as part of GDP. Women disproportionately shoulder the burden of unpaid work: on average, women do two more hours of unpaid work per day than men, with large differences across countries. While much unpaid care work is done entirely by choice, constraints imposed by cultural norms, labor market features or lack of public services, infrastructure, and family-friendly policies matter. This undermines female labor force participation and lowers economy-wide productivity. In this paper, we examine recent trends in unpaid work around the world using aggregate and individual-level data, explore potential drivers, and identify policies that can help reduce and redistribute unpaid work across genders. Conservative model-based estimates suggest that the gains from these policies could amount to up to 4 percent of GDP.

Keywords: Unpaid Work, Female Labor Force Participation, Gender Equality.

JEL Classification: J16, J21, J22

Suggested Citation

Alonso, Cristian and Brussevich, Mariya and Dabla-Norris, Era and Kinoshita, Yuko and Kochhar, Kalpana, Reducing and Redistributing Unpaid Work: Stronger Policies to Support Gender Equality (October 2019). IMF Working Paper No. 19/225, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3482305

Cristian Alonso (Contact Author)

Princeton University, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Princeton, NJ
United States

Mariya Brussevich

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Era Dabla-Norris

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Yuko Kinoshita

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States
202-623-5442 (Phone)
202-623-6069 (Fax)

University of Michigan, William Davidson Institute

724 E. University Ave.
Wyly Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Kalpana Kochhar

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
23
Abstract Views
162
PlumX Metrics