In Defense of Valuation

I think that estimates of the market value of non-market work are a worthwhile exercise (as my last two posts suggest) as long as they are done carefully and presented as an approximate lower-bound. But conceptual resistance to valuation remains remarkably fierce–which is a big reason we don’t see more of it. One common objection is that estimation is just… Read more →

The Temporal Constraints of Child Care

Time-use surveys measure the number of hours devoted to care of family and friends, making it possible to estimate what it would cost to purchase an approximate substitute for them. Such a “replacement cost” estimate of adult care services in the U.S. featured in my last post. However, most time-use surveys continue to emphasize time in specific activities–like feeding or… Read more →

The Dollar Value of Grown-Up Care

I love the title of the regular–and recently updated– AARP Public Policy Institute report estimating the value of family care for adults with limitations in daily activities: “Valuing the Invaluable.” It calls attention to the estimated replacement cost without fetishizing the dollars. If those family members were not on the case, money expenditures on health and long term services would be… Read more →

Heads Ups

*  Save the date for the 2015 meeting of the Child Care Policy Research Consortium (CCPRC) December 2 – 4, 2015. A treasure trove of summaries and presentations from the 2014 CCPRC Meeting including the plenary and workshop sessions are available on Child Care & Early Education Research Connections at:  http://www.researchconnections.org/childcare/meetings/ccprc/2014/.   * Writer/journalist Elaine Clift is seeking submissions for a possible anthology titled TAKE CARE:TALES,… Read more →

Elect for Child Care

Like a little kid who has just gotten a grip on the monkey bars, universal childcare has finally made it to the national political arena. President Obama has been cheering it on from his oddly sidelined position, and his office has effectively  summarized the definitive economic case for public investment. Hillary Clinton puts child care front and center in her… Read more →

Bargaining up to $15

Big victory for home workers organized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Massachusetts, who just successfully bargained a new contract that will bring their wages up to $15 an hour by 2018. As an article in the Boston Globe points out, home care workers joined the national Fight for $15 about a year ago, forming a political coalition… Read more →

The Best Care Work Reporting of the Year

The British newspaper famous for its courageous investigative journalism on many different fronts wins my prize for the best reporting of the year on paid care work. A series of related articles, available in gallery format, address the underpayment of care workers in the U.K., recently dramatized by a report that 100 care agencies in the country are under investigation… Read more →

All the Child Care Workers in the USA

All the child care workers in the U.S. combined earn less than the top 25 hedge fund managers and traders. Wow. Even a jaded old care-work researcher like me finds this pretty startling. I came across the claim in a New York Times article describing Hillary Clinton’s speech at a recent rally and wondered what it was based on, given… Read more →

Care and the Great Transition

Because I think there are fundamental similarities between care and ecological services, I look for opportunities for dialogue with environmental researchers and activists. A particularly visionary network at The Great Transition Initiative recently invited me to comment on a provocative essay by Herman Daly called “Economics for a Full World. My post there offers a brief critique of the “empty-full”… Read more →

When Family-Friendly Journalism Backfires

Poorly–designed policies that may initially appear “family-friendly” can impede progress toward gender equality in two different ways—by making it costly for employers to hire or promote workers suspected of having costly family commitments (e.g. women of childbearing age) or by encouraging workers with such commitments to drop out of paid employment for so long that their prospects of advancement on… Read more →