Grandparents and women's participation in the labour market
Economics ISEG - Technical University of Lisbon / CISEP Lisbon, Portugal
Conciliation of work and family life is a challenge to most women. Also, population ageing demands a larger participation of women in the labour market, but this may have negative effects in terms of fertility, unless child care facilities are easily and cheaply available.
In some countries, although not in Southern European countries, women make significant use of part-time schedules as a way of balancing work and family life. Informal care, typically care by grandparents, is an alternative. It is cheap, and possibly compatible with non-standard labour schedules.
In this paper we want to find out how important childcare by grandparents is to the women's participation in the labour market in South European countries, including Portugal. We empirically evaluate the verification and the significance of such effect.
The existence of a grandparent caring for a child may not be a truly exogenous variable: many grandparents care for their grandchildren so that the mother may be in the labour market. If she decided not to have a job, it is possible that these grandparents would not be taking care of their grandchildren. Because of this potential endogeneity problem, we use a switching probit.