Working and caring. The simultaneous decision of labor force participation, informal long-term care and childcare services in Mexico

Available from: 
October 2013
Paper author(s): 
Durfari Velandia Naranjo (Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá)
Edwin van Gameren (El Colegio de México)
Education - Health
Gender Economics

Labor force participation and caregiving activities are competing for the scarce time of many people, especially for the generation in which care for aging parents comes together with care for (grand)children. In Mexico, a tradition of multigenerational families together with a limited availability of affordable (public or private) long-term and childcare facilities, imply a large dependence on informal care. We analyze which factors determine the women’s decisions to participate in the labor market, to provide care to the elderly, and to provide care to the (grand) children, using data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study, a survey among people aged 50 and over, through the estimation of a three equation reduced form seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) model. The results suggest that care needs are the driving force behind the caregiving activities, much more than the economic situation. Traditional roles appear to be relevant, also in the labor force participation decision, in which women who had a close connection with the labor market during their earlier years are more likely to work. With simulations of demographic changes in Mexico, such as an aging population, we illustrate potential effects for future caregiving and participation rates.


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Research section: 
Lacea 2013 annual meeting
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