June 13-15, I attended the 21st Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis, held in Cartagena, Colombia, to present and discuss a draft of an early project output, titled “Care in an Aging East Asian Economy: Simulating the impacts of policies on gender roles, labor markets, and household welfare” and coauthored with two CWE Researcher colleagues, Marzia Fontana and Kijong Kim. The purpose of this paper was to take the first steps toward the development and testing of a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of South Korea that can analyze policies related to care of both young and elderly. The conference was organized by GTAP, the leading global organization for this area of economic analysis, headquartered at Purdue University. While our paper could draw on the emerging literature of gendered CGE models, this may be the first time such a model is used to analyze issues related to care. In the Korean context, this extension is of outmost importance (like the rest of the project) given the challenges posed by a rapidly growing elderly population, a declining population in working age, and low participation of women in market work, which in its turn partly is due to the fact that women provide most of the care needed by other family members. The forthcoming analysis with the model will focus on policies that improve access to affordable, out-of-home, high quality care from private and public service providers. Empirical model simulations will assess the impact of such policies on a wide range of indicators, including gendered time use and the ability of South Korea’s many highly educated women to earn higher incomes from working more outside the home.
This blog was authored by Hans Lofgren