The Care Economy: Policy Lessons from Research

This schema was created in an effort to summarize the policy insights uncovered from research done by the Care Work and the Economy project over the last three years. The interactive web experience (which begins below and continues as you click the “Click to Continue” button) is meant to give users a comprehensive understanding of the vast body of research we have completed on the care economy. 

The schema is centered around the idea of “care for all”, which recognizes that we all need care and we all provide care in some way. The schema and interactive experience continues by recognizing the economic actors in the care economy: “Individuals, families & communities,” “Paid care workers,” “Private-sector employers,” and the “Government (national and local).” Each actor has a pop-up box that includes research insights and a list of relevant project papers or policy briefs. Click on the icon of each of the economic actors as you continue to view its corresponding pop-up.

On the final page of the interactive experience, animated arrows are used to show how each economic actor in the care economy can interact with each other to support care infrastructure and ultimately guarantee “care for all.” 

*It is recommended to view this interactive experience on Desktop only. 

Why care for all?

— "From the cradle to the grave"

Demographic transitions (aging in richer countries, high fertility in poorer countries), health transitions, rapid urbanization, increased female labor force participation, and longer schooling are all changing family caregiving

Care for the caregivers

Care need in 2030 would require the equivalent of 1/5 to 2/5 of the paid labor force. 

If all family caregivers were paid, a value equivalent to 16 to 32 percent of GDP per country (King, Randolph, Floro & Suh (2021))



The care burden in families is not equally shared:

This figure shows the percent change in labor force participation, since January of 2020 and demonstrates the toll of caregiving to caregivers: all groups suffered as a result of the pandemic, but women with young kids (red) have sustained losses in labor force participation.

Measurement and analysis of care burden

CTMS 2018 household and provider surveys

Cha (2021) "Determinants Of Paid Elder Care Service Use: Focusing On The Characteristics Of Family Caregiver And Their Household"

 Moon (2021) "The Current Status And Alternatives Of Male Care Participation In Korea"

Kim (2021) "Policy Recommendations For A High Road To Care In Korea"

 Jun, King, & Kang (2021) "Care Needs Care: Care Needs For Family Caregivers Of The Elderly"

— Peng & Jun (2021) "Impacts Of COVID-19 On Work-Family Balance In South Korea"

Cha & Moon (2020) "A Glimpse of the Context of Family Caregivers: Actual Time vs. Preferred Time for Elderly Care"

Friar (2021) "Caring About Influence: Analyzing Relationships and Networks to Promote Effective Advocacy on Care"

Jun & King (2020); Hensly, Jun & King (2021) "The toll and reward of family caregiving: Eldercare in South Korea"

Time-use survey data, combined with household survey data; domestic and paid caregivers, ability to distinguish between paid and unpaid services rendered 

King, Randolph, & Suh (2021) "Who cares and who shares? Caregiving in the household" 

Meurs, Tribin Floro, & Lefebvre (2020) "Prospects for Gender-Sensitive Macroeconomic Modelling for Policy Analysis in Colombia: Integrating the Care Economy"

Donehower & Kye (2021) "Care Support Ratios in Korea and the US"

Suh, King, Floro & Meurs (2021)

Macroeconomic models

— Lofgren, Kim & Fontana (2020) "A Gendered Social Accounting Matrix for South Korea"

— Meurs, Tribin Floro, & Lefebvre (2020) "Prospects for Gender-Sensitive Macroeconomic Modelling for Policy Analysis in Colombia: Integrating the Care Economy"

CWE-GAM Communications Team 2021