Caring and Working Life Expectancy at 50: A Comparative Analysis of Gender Differences in Europe

Ariane Ophir , University of Wisconsin-Madison

Recently, demographers have been conceptualizing work and care as life expectancy measures to estimate how many years people are expected to spend in paid work and in a caregiving role, yet they have not systematically compared the two concepts. In this paper, I simultaneously and jointly compare working and care life expectancy to understand the overlap and trade-off between paid and unpaid work over women’s and men’s life course. In the context of growing concern about the economic implications of population aging, unpaid work such as informal care is often overlooked despite its direct relevance to population aging and local economies. Incorporating both types of work to estimate older individuals’ life expectancy in both domains will enhance our understanding of the gendered implications of population aging for older individuals, enrich our conceptualization of work over the life course, and inform our discussion of dependency in increasingly aging societies.

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 Presented in Session 222. Trends, Determinants, and Consequences of the Length of Working Life