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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11226

Title: The Labour Supply of Unpaid Caregivers in Canada
Authors: Lilly, Meredith Lenore
Advisor: Coyte, Peter C.
Department: Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
Keywords: home care
unpaid caregivers
health services research
labour force participation
secondary data analysis
General Social Survey
labour supply
hours of work
informal caregiving
health policy
systematic review
work life balance
family policy
primary caregivers
Issue Date: 31-Jul-2008
Abstract: The Labour Supply of Unpaid Caregivers in Canada, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Meredith Lenore Lilly, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, 2008. As medical care increasingly shifts from the hospital to the home, responsibility for care has also shifted from the state and paid care, to the family and unpaid care. Unpaid caregivers are family members and friends who provide homecare services to recipients in their place of residence without financial compensation, as a result of their close personal relationships. This research tests the multiple hypotheses that unpaid caregiving has an impact on (1) the probability of labour force participation (LFP); (2) hours of labour force work; and (3) earnings by caregivers in Canada. We analyzed the 1996 and 2002 General Social Surveys, applying multivariate probit, logistic, and OLS regression analyses to four equations: 1) the probability of labour force participation; 2) the hourly wage; 3) weekly hours of labour market work; and 4) the probability of being an unpaid caregiver. Results indicate that unpaid caregiving was negatively associated with labour force participation; however, the impact on hours of labour market work and wages was uncertain. Women and men caregivers were impacted differently: only caregiving men in 1996 had significantly lower wages than non-caregivers, and only women in 1996 worked significantly fewer hours in the labour market. When caregiving was defined broadly, only men in 1996 were significantly less likely to be employed than non-caregivers. Yet when we controlled for caregiving intensity in 2002, both male and female primary caregivers were much less likely to be in the labour force than non-caregivers, while secondary caregivers were no less likely to be employed than non-caregivers. We conclude that when caregiving responsibilities are relatively small, individuals seem able to balance both caregiving with employment. Yet when caregiving commitments become heavy, it becomes increasingly difficult to balance employment with caregiving. We make a number of policy recommendations ranging from improving caregiver access to financial supports, formal care and respite services, particularly for primary caregivers. We also encourage the development of workplace legislation and caregiver friendly workplaces for the majority of caregivers who remain in the labour market.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11226
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
The Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation - Doctoral theses

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