Interactions between Care-Giving and Paid Work Hours among European Midlife Women, 1994 to 1996

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C. Katharina Spieß, A. Ulrike Schneider

In: Ageing and Society 23 (2003), 1, S. 41-68

Abstract

This paper uses data from the European Community Household Panel surveys of 1994 and 1996 to study the association between changes in care-giving and changes in weekly work hours. Our sample comprises women aged 45-59 years who participated in the labour force in at least one of the two years studied. Controlling for country variation, we find significant relationships between starting or increasing informal care-giving and changes in weekly work hours. No such association is found however among women terminating a care-giving commitment or reducing their care hours. Starting care-giving significantly reduces work hours for women in northern European countries (except Ireland). By contrast, women in southern Europe and Ireland respond to an increase in care-giving hours by a smaller increase or a higher decrease in work hours than non care-givers. In summary, our results show that the impact of care-giving on adjustments of weekly work hours is asymmetrical and that it differs in southern and northern Europe.

C. Katharina Spieß

Abteilungsleiterin in der Abteilung Bildung und Familie