The prospects for caring: economic theory and policy analysis

Himmelweit, Susan (2007). The prospects for caring: economic theory and policy analysis. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 31(4) pp. 581–599.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/cje/bem011

Abstract

This paper examines three distinguishing features of caring: that it involves the development of a relationship, that caring responsibilities and needs are unequally distributed and that social norms influence the allocation of care and caring responsibilities, to draw out their implications for analysing caring and its movement between unpaid and paid economies. Rising opportunity costs of caring are found to produce pressures experienced in different ways across different sectors of the economy. These, coupled with inequalities in care responsibilities and labour market opportunities, influence the movement of care between paid and unpaid economies. This analysis is then used to examine the likely evolution of caring norms and practices and how policy might intervene to avoid an uncaring future.

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