Immigration, elderly care and labour-force participation: Can immigration help women retire later?
Giovanni Peri, Agnese Romiti, Mariacristina Rossi08 September 2013
Elderly people assisted by immigrant carers, rather than by their sons and daughters, has become a common feature of many European countries. This column presents evidence from Italy suggesting that the immigrant presence in the home-care sector has allowed women, especially those with elderly parents, to retire from their jobs later. Increasing the retirement age has to happen over the coming decades to ensure the sustainability of developed countries’ pension systems.
During the last decade immigrants have increased their presence in the labour force of many rich countries. In several of those countries manually intensive occupations, such as those in the household service sector, have employed many of them. Particularly in Italy, immigrants have disproportionately staffed the long-term care sector for elderly people. The demand from that sector has grown substantially due to the needs of an ageing population. In a recent study (Peri, Romiti and Rossi, 2013) we analyse how immigrants have replaced women in caring for older family members.
The long-run gains of not mixing genders in high-school classes
Massimo Anelli, Giovanni Peri23 February 2013
What causes fewer women than men to choose high-earning potential subjects such as engineering, economics or science at undergraduate level? This column presents new evidence from an accidental natural experiment in Italy, suggesting mixed-gender classes at the high-school level reduce the number of women pursuing these subjects. These results suggest that gender-separated classrooms are an effective way to increase women’s career opportunities and salaries.
Victorian novelist Horatio Alger insisted that hard work and a bit of luck could whisk a boy from rags to riches. CEPR DP8605 outlines a model to measure how social mobility impacts men and women differently. The authors suggest that, paradoxically, women's historically higher social mobility may be due to labour market discrimination--and that reducing the gender wage gap may reduce social mobility overall.
Empowering women economically: 2010 Women’s Economic Opportunity Index
Leo Abruzzese26 September 2010
Women’s economic empowerment has been a defining feature of the last century. Yet while women today comprise more than half of the global workforce, their wages and economic opportunities still lag behind those of men. This column takes a closer look at the economic landscape for women and how it compares across countries, using the Economist Intelligence Unit’s new Women’s Economic Opportunity Index as a guide.
In recent decades girls’ and women’s education and health in most poor countries have dramatically improved. But progress in women’s economic opportunities is still lagging. In many emerging market economies, women consistently trail men in formal labour force participation, access to credit, entrepreneurship rates, income levels, and inheritance and ownership rights.
The story is very different in richer countries. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, women entered the workforce in droves, fuelling economic growth such that today many women lead global corporations and countries.