Intensive Course in Gender-Sensitive Macroeconomic Modeling for Policy Analysis

Day 5: Paid Care Market and Care Policies

Session 5.1 Paid Caregivers and the Market for Care

Instructor: Ito Peng


  1. Understanding Care through the Lens of the Care Diamond
  2. Using Intersectionality and Multi-scalar Lenses to understand Care Work
  3. The Case of South Korea 

This lecture examines paid care work and the market for care from a feminist political-economic perspective. We will begin with the concept of the care diamond to understand and contextualize how care is negotiated, provided and delivered through social, cultural and political-economic processes by four key institutions the family, state, market and community/NGOs. The paper by Shahra Razavi (see below) is a good introductory reading to understand this concept because not only does she explain how these key institutions configure to provide care, but she also situates the care diamond in a development context. Care work is universally and culturally undervalued. The undervaluation is partly because of care’s historical and cultural association with women’s unpaid domestic labour. As a result, paid care work has been historically marginalized in the labour market, relegated to women, immigrants, and racialized workers. Because care work involves complex physical, functional, interpersonal, and emotional components, it shapes and is shaped by the social positionings of the caregivers and care recipients, which are also reflected in broader societal and global structures. For this reason, we must understand care and care work from intersectional and multi-scalar lenses. We will examine how gender, race and citizenship status intersect with care work and how this reflects and reproduce global inequalities and power relations. Fiona Williams (2018) provides a useful guide for understanding care and care work from intersectional and multi-scalar lenses. Finally, we use the case of South Korea to show how the care diamond in that country is configured and change over time. The working paper by Peng, Cha and Moon (2021) offers a case study of South Korea’s care policies and care infrastructure. It shows how the government’s care policies influence the market for care and its implications for paid care workers. 

Main Reading

Razavi, Shahra. (2007) The Political and Social Economy of Care in a Development Context: Conceptual Issues, Research Questions and Policy Options, Geneva: UNRISD. 036D5A0/$file/Razavi-paper.pdf 

Supplementary Readings

Peng, Ito, Seung-Eun Cha, and Hyuna Moon. (2021) An Overview of Care Policies and the Status of Care Workers in South Korea, CWE-GAM Working Paper Series: 21-01. al.-PDF-Final-Paper.pdf

Williams, Fiona (2018) “Care: Intersections of scales, inequalities and crises,” Current Sociology, 66(4): 547-561. 

Session 5.2 Social, Labor and Care Policies

Instructor: Ana Maria Tribin


  1. Labor market policies.
  2. Unpaid care and domestic work: recognizing, redistributing, and reducing unpaid care and domestic work through care policies. 

One way to encourage women’s labor force participation and gender equality are to implement policies that help women, who are the primary caretakers, balance better-paid work and family. This section discusses the potential role of the government and employers in shaping a more balanced world inside and outside the home. We start with a review of family-friendly policies. The UNICEF classified family-friendly policies into three: time-related, service-related, and finance-related policies. Time-related procedures include parental leave and flexible work arrangements. Service-related policies include investing in care infrastructure. Finance-related policies refer to those policies that provide cash transfers, vouchers, or grants for the care of children or wage replacement. Then we will analyze which of these policies have worked and if these policies may have unintended consequences that end up discouraging employers and then can backfire on the women they’re supposed to promote. Finally, we will analyze the policies proposed during the COVID19 pandemic that aggravate economic inequalities faced by women. The learning objectives are: Understand the role of government and employers in alleviating the conflict between paid work and unpaid work; review the types of policies that have been implemented; analyze benefits and unintended negative consequences of family-friendly policies. 

Main Readings

Esquivel, Valeria Renata; Kaufmann, Andrea; Innovations in care: New concepts, new actors, new policies; Friedrich Ebert Stiftung; 1; 2017; 65.

Olivetti, Claudia, and Barbara Petrongolo. 2017. "The Economic Consequences of Family Policies: Lessons from a Century of Legislation in High-Income Countries." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31 (1): 205-3 

Supplementary Readings

Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, Nathaniel Hilger, Emmanuel Saez, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Danny Yagan, How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 126, Issue 4, November 2011, Pages 15931660,

Bernal, Raquel, and Camila Fernández (2013)."Subsidized childcare and child development in Colombia: Effects of Hogares Comunitarios de Bienestar as a function of timing and length of exposure.”Social Science & Medicine,97, pp.241-249.

Tribin, Ana & Vargas, Carmiña & Ramirez Bustamante, Natalia. (2019). Unintended consequences of maternity leave legislation: The case of Colombia. World Development. 122. 218-232. 10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.05.007.