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Integrating Unpaid Work into Macroeconomics Indira Hirway CFDA, Ahmedabad, India China-India Feminist Economics Workshop Gender dimensions of paid and.

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Presentation on theme: "Integrating Unpaid Work into Macroeconomics Indira Hirway CFDA, Ahmedabad, India China-India Feminist Economics Workshop Gender dimensions of paid and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Integrating Unpaid Work into Macroeconomics Indira Hirway CFDA, Ahmedabad, India China-India Feminist Economics Workshop Gender dimensions of paid and unpaid work in China and India Kunming, China September 2014

2 Challenge of Unpaid work Both India and China, like many other countries, suffer from (1) highly unequal distribution of unpaid work between men and women and (2) women carrying much higher burden of total work than men Both these features are at the root of gender inequalities and disempowerment of women prevailing in these countries Both the countries therefore face a challenge as to how to address these inequality effectively There are several alternative approaches, and this paper discusses them

3 This Paper Discusses the different concepts of unpaid work presented in different contexts Shows why unpaid work has to be a part of the mainstream economy Presents approaches to integrating this work into macroeconomics and macroeconomic policy making Discusses the implications of integration in terms of data collection and use

4 Concept of Unpaid Work: Care based Approach Care is “meeting physical and emotional requirements of dependent adults, children and others” and unpaid care refers to unremunerated care extended to family members, relatives and community It is intrinsically motivated and not money motivated – it is more than labour It is also reproductive work for “maintaining reproduction, repair and maintenance of the world” Unpaid care work (unpaid HH work) is indirect care, and paid and unpaid care together make unpaid work. This approach focuses more on care than on care giver and is more concerned about how to manage good quality care

5 Unpaid work is work, labour Unpaid work is work, labour - unpaid services that use time and energy Like economic activities it contributes to human well being, It is not unlimited or free, and has limited supply It takes care of depreciation of labour, and contributes to human capital formation - It subsidizes private sector as well as government, and subsidizes the market economy It should be treated as labour in economy which consists of paid and unpaid work The ILO in its 19 th ICLS Resolution has recognized as work and clubbed it with own use production of goods

6 Why should a country protect “care”? Care is an important need of a society and economy Care is in crisis in the present world with women entering the labour market Frequently care has a drudgery element – time consuming hard strenuous work – cooking, washing clothes, cleaning etc Poor women suffer from time stress and time poverty, affecting adversely their health, nutrition, well being Need to ensure desired quality and quantity of care There is a need to bring care in the purview of policy making

7 Why unpaid work is a part of the macro-economy? There is continuum between paid and unpaid work - the demarcation line is arbitrary Unpaid work takes care of depreciation of labour, and a means of human capital formation, It subsidize government and private sector The demarcation line between SNA and non-SNA is arbitrary, influenced by patriarchal values In short, unpaid workers are the lagging section of the total workforce / labour force.

8 3 R approach ensures quality and quantity of unpaid care Recognition of unpaid care – Giving visibility to care in statistics Reduction in unpaid care work by improved infrastructure and improved technology Redistribution of care between home, market, government and voluntary services.

9 Valuation of unpaid work into money terms Argument s against valuation of unpaid work Arguments in favour of valuation of unpaid work The input and output methods HH satellite accounts Limitation of valuation Need to go beyond valuation

10 Integrating unpaid work into macroeconomics Understanding linkages between paid and unpaid work Impact of macroeconomic policies / programmes on paid and unpaid work Engendering macro-modeling Expanding horizons of macroeconomics

11 Need to expand statistical paradigm Roll of time use surveys in integrating unpaid work in macroeconomics Time use surveys in Asia Status of time use surveys In India and China – not mainstreamed in any economy What kind of data needed for integrating unpaid work into macro economies A long way to go


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