Sandwich generation and female occupation in an ageing society: the case of Italy

Valeria Bordone, University of Mannheim
Alessandro Rosina, Università Cattolica, Milan

This paper deals with the possible conflict between family support and increased economic activity of the sandwich generation: women taking care of both children and parents. It enriches the existing literature by comparing two countries by using data from SHARE. The empirical analysis considers women aged 49-59 in Italy and Sweden. Italy shows a fast ageing process in a context of low female participation in the labour market. The comparison with Sweden is relevant as Mediterranean and Scandinavian countries belong to the two opposite European models of welfare systems, gender roles and intergenerational family ties’ intensity. Preliminary results suggest that in Italy the possibility of being economically active for a middle-aged woman is directly related to her educational attainment: the likelihood of working is definitely higher for women with middle to high educational level. However, full employment seems to be negatively affected by the increasing demand for care for old-parents.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Health and ageing