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Understanding the Care Economy

In three survey articles, PERI researcher Jayati Ghosh examines a range of critical questions with respect to the care economy. These include: defining the activities that constitute the care economy; understanding the structure of care work and inequalities among care workers; and considering the role that public policies need to play for properly recognizing and rewarding care work. Ghosh confirms that most unpaid care work is performed by women and girls and argues that “states that are obliged to treat all citizens as equal should obviously tackle the inequalities created by heavy and unequal unpaid care workloads.”

As part of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies' Care4Care Program, PERI's Jayati Ghosh authors three policy briefs on a range of critical questions with respect to the care economy.


“Recognising and rewarding care work: the role of public policies”
 examines the complex difficulties in gauging care supply and demand and exposes the numerous benefits of investment in care and addresses the under-provision of care alongside demographic changes. 

“Defining Care: conceptualisations and particularities” provides a comprehensive conceptualisation of care and an outline of the distinct characteristics that make it difficult to measure and compare it to other forms of work.

“The structure of care work and inequalities among care workers” delineates the various inequalities directly and inherently linked to care. The paper addresses the distinctive symptoms characterising some of the most common features within care work, from unpaid to underpaid care, and illustrates how the resulting gendered injustice stems from deeply rooted patriarchal structures.

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