Bard College’s Levy Economics Institute Receives $90,000 to Study Potential Impacts of Policies that Expand Care Services in MexicoANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY – The Levy Institute has been awarded a $90,000 contract by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development and the Government of Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres for the first phase of a project examining the potential impact of policies expanding care services in Mexico.
Levy Institute scholars Thomas Masterson, Rania Antonopoulos, Luiza Nassif-Pires, Fernando Rios-Avila, and Ajit Zacharias, along with Mónica E. Orozco Corona of Genders AC, will study the gendered impact of providing universal early childhood education in Mexico. Greater access to early childhood education can alleviate household production responsibilities—particularly for women, who do the bulk of unpaid care work. At the same time, investing in the care sector creates jobs, enhancing employment and earnings while also potentially increasing time spent in paid work. This project aims to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the impact on well-being of investing in early childhood education in Mexico by creating a framework that keeps track of all these simultaneous outcomes. Taking both time and income effects into consideration enables exploration of the multiple gendered economic outcomes of care services expansion—in terms of both employment creation and earnings generation as well as the changes in the unpaid and paid workload of women versus men and the associated risk of time poverty.
“The responsibility for unpaid care work, which falls most heavily on women within households, is a major obstacle to women’s labor force engagement. Relatively little research has directly examined the linkages between social provisioning of care, the expansion of employment opportunities for women, and growth. Even less attention has been paid to the potential impact of labor force engagement for women’s time use and time poverty,” said Levy Institute Research Scholar and Director of Applied Micromodeling Tom Masterson.
Later phases of the project envision including estimates of the extension of school hours for school-age children and provision of universal elder care in Mexico.
This work builds on related Levy Institute research conducted for Ghana and Tanzania (supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation) and Turkey (in partnership with the International Labour Organization, United Nations Development Programme, and UN Women).
The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, founded in 1986 through the generous support of the late Bard College trustee Leon Levy, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization. The Institute is independent of any political or other affiliation, and encourages diversity of opinion in the examination of economic policy issues while striving to transform ideological arguments into informed debate.
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