Is family care of the elderly free care? The hidden costs of family care of the elderly in Ecuador and Mexico

Mercedes Pedrero, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Estela Rivero-Fuentes, El Colegio de México

Abstract: In this paper we use time use surveys in Ecuador and Mexico to identify who in the family is responsible for elderly and disabled care, how much time is used in that care, and its market value. We also explore how taking care of the elderly and the disabled affects the time allocated to work, education, leisure and resting. As the demographic transition in Latin America shows its effects on the population pyramid, the relative number of elderly that need to be taken care of will increase while the potential number of caregivers will decrease. Our estimates of the market value of family care is a first approach to the investment that will be necessary to compensate for the decrease in caregivers, while our analysis of the tradeoff between time allocated to elderly care and other activities is important to understand the effects of care on caregivers wellbeing.

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Presented in Session 95: The gender division of household labour