The Unpaid Care Work-Paid Work Connection

Levy Economics Institute, Working Papers Series

96 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2008

See all articles by Rania Antonopoulos

Rania Antonopoulos

Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute

Date Written: July 25, 2008


In order to provide a coherent perspective of gender differences in the world of work, this paper argues, the many intersections of paid and unpaid work must be brought to light. It is well documented that gender-based wage differentials and occupational segregation continue to characterize the division of labor among men and women in paid work. Yet, unpaid work in social reproduction, subsistence production, family businesses, and the community is often ignored. When it is taken into account, it is usually done in a very limited manner, equating unpaid work with the traditional roles women play in raising children and performing maintenance chores. Beyond the obvious gender inequalities characterizing the latter, unpaid work constitutes an integral part of any functioning economy, and as such is linked to economic growth, government policy, migration, and many development issues. The paper concludes that the "world of work" cannot be treated in complete disregard to unpaid forms of labor, and gender equality must be understood through the lens of the paid-unpaid work continuum.

Keywords: Unpaid Work, Gender Equality, Migration, Gender and the Economy, Time Use

JEL Classification: B54, E24, H50, I30, J10, J22

Suggested Citation

Antonopoulos, Rania, The Unpaid Care Work-Paid Work Connection (July 25, 2008). Levy Economics Institute, Working Papers Series, Available at SSRN: or

Rania Antonopoulos (Contact Author)

Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute ( email )

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000
United States
1-845-758-7717 (Phone)
1-845-758-1149 (Fax)

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