Male/female differences in the impact of caring for elderly relatives on labor market attachment and hours of work: 1997-2015

Publication type
Journal article
Smith PM, Cawley C, Williams AM, Mustard C
Date published
2020 Feb 01
The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Open Access?

OBJECTIVES: Using representative samples of the Canadian labor market (N = 5,871,850), this study examined male/female differences in the impact of informal care on labor market attachment, and the extent to which differences in labor market participation and employment relationships explained these differences over a 19-year period. METHODS: We examined four outcomes related to labor market impacts associated with caring for elderly relatives: leaving the labor market, working part-time, taking time off work in the previous week, and the amount of time taken off from work. Regression models examined differences between men and women, and the extent to which gendered labor market roles accounted for these differences. RESULTS: We observed an increase in all labor market outcomes over the study period. Women were more likely than men to experience each outcome. Adjusting for labor market role variables did not change these estimates appreciably. After adjustment for differences in labor market roles women were 73% more likely to leave the labor market, more than 5 times more likely to work part-time, and twice as likely to take time off in the last week due to informal care. Further, for temporary absences to provide care, women took an average of 160 min more per week than men. DISCUSSION: Taken together, these results suggest an increasing impact of informal care on labor market participation in Canada between 1997 and 2005, and it remains gendered