What Women Are Worth? Valuation of the Care Economy in Various Regions of the World

  • Jacques Charmes
Part of the Demographic Transformation and Socio-Economic Development book series (DTSD, volume 10)


Among the obstacles towards achieving gender equality on the labour market and breaking the glass ceiling that prevents women to progress as rapidly as men in their job and career, the burden of homework and care work is one of the most insidious because it remains widely invisible, is still not well informed and is not actually taken into account by policies. Attempts to valuate the contribution of household production aiming to fill this gap are not new, but it is the 4th revision of the System of National Accounts in 1993 that suggested to build satellite accounts of household production, and detailed methodologies have been proposed since then. In the most recent period, several countries have conducted time-use surveys in order to progress towards such evaluations, and some of them regularly compute satellite accounts of unpaid work in the households. After assessing the importance of unpaid and paid work in a set of 26 countries in the Middle East North Africa region, sub-Saharan Africa, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Latin America that conducted time-use surveys and at least some valuation works on household production since the mid of the years 2000s, a comparison is made of various estimates of the size of the care economy in these countries.


  1. Becker, G. (1965). A theory of the allocation of time. The Economic Journal, 75, 493–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Becker, G. (1981). A treatise on the family. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bridgman, B. (2016). Accounting for household production in the national accounts: An update 1965–2014. Survey of Current Business, February 2016.Google Scholar
  4. Central Statistical Office of Hungary. (2016). The value of household work, household satellite account in Hungary. Statistical Mirror 5 April 2016. Budapest.Google Scholar
  5. Charmes, J. (2018). The unpaid care work and the labour market. An analysis of time use data based on the latest world compilation of time-use surveys. Geneva: ILO.Google Scholar
  6. Fouquet, A., & Chadeau, A. (1981). Le travail domestique. Essai de quantification. INSEE, Archives et Documents n°32, Paris, 91p.Google Scholar
  7. Goldschmidt-Clermont, L. (1982). Unpaid work in the household: A review of economic, evaluation methods (Women, work and development series, No. 1). Geneva: International Labour Office.Google Scholar
  8. Goldschmidt-Clermont, L., & Pagnossin-Aligisakis, E. (1995). Measures of unrecorded economic activities in fourteen countries. (Background Paper n°20). Human development report 1995. New York: UNDP-HDRO.Google Scholar
  9. Holloway, S., Short, S., & Tamplin, S. (2002). Household satellite account (experimental) methodology (70p). London: Office for National Statistics.Google Scholar
  10. INEC. (2014). Cuentas Satélite del Trabajo no Remunerado del Hogares (CSTNRH) 2007–2010. Quito.Google Scholar
  11. INEI. (2016). Cuenta Satélite del Trabajo Doméstico No Remunerado. Lima. 210p.Google Scholar
  12. INS. (2017). Enquête sur l’emploi du temps au Cameroun en 2014. Rapport d’analyse. Yaoundé.Google Scholar
  13. INSAE. (2017). Enquête Modulaire Intégrée sur les Conditions de Vie des Ménages 2ème edition (EMICoV-2015), Rapport d’analyse du volet emploi du temps, Cotonou: INSAE-GIZ.Google Scholar
  14. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI México). (2014). Sistema de Cuentas Nacionales de México : Cuenta satélite del trabajo no remunerado de los hogares de México 2012 : Preliminar : Año base 2008, Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, México, INEGI.Google Scholar
  15. Ipek Ilkkaracan, A., & Umut, G. (2009). Time-use, the value of non-market production and its interactions with the market sector: The case of Turkey. Paper presented at international conference on inequalities and development in the Mediterranean Countries. Mimeo. Istanbul.Google Scholar
  16. Ironmonger, D. (1989). Research on the household economy. In D. Ironmonger (Ed.), Households work. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  17. Ironmonger, D. (1996). Counting outputs, capital inputs and caring labor: Estimating gross household product. Feminist Economics, 2(3), 37–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ironmonger, D.(2000). Household production and the household economy. University of Melbourne, Research paper, 14p.Google Scholar
  19. Ironmonger, D. (2004). Bringing up Bobby and Betty: The inputs and outputs of childcare time. In Folbre, N. & Bittman, M. (Eds.), Family time: The social organisation of care. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Landefeld, J. S., Fraumeni, B. M., & Vojtech, C. M. (2009). Accounting for household production: A prototype satellite account using The American Time Use Survey. The Review of Income and Wealth, 55(2), 205–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nordhaus, W. D., & James, T. (1973). Is growth obsolete? In M. Milton (Ed.), The measurement of economic and social performance. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Office for National Statistics, ONS. (2002). Household satellite account (experimental) methodology. London, 70p.Google Scholar
  23. ONS. (2016). Compendium household satellite accounts 2005 to 2014. London, 49p.Google Scholar
  24. Reid, M. (1934). Economics of household production. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  25. République Tunisienne, Ministère des Affaires de la Femme. (2011). Budget temps des femmes et des hommes en Tunisie, 2005–06, Tunis, 189p.Google Scholar
  26. Roy, D. (2012a). Valorisation du travail domestique des ménages : une discussion à partir de l’enquête emploi du temps 2010. 14ème colloque de Comptabilité Nationale, session 4, Paris, 6–7 et 8 juin 2012, 41p.Google Scholar
  27. Roy, D. (2012b). Le travail domestique : 60 milliards d’heures en 2010. INSEE Première N°1423, Novembre 2012, Paris, 4p.Google Scholar
  28. Royaume du Maroc, Haut Commissariat au Plan. (2014). Le Budget temps ou l’Enquête Nationale sur l’Emploi du Temps au Maroc 2011–12, Principaux résultats, Rabat, 44p.Google Scholar
  29. Rüger, Y., & Varjonen, J. (2008). Value of household production in Finland and Germany analysis and recalculation of the household satellite account system in both countries (Working Papers 112). National Consumer Research Centre, Helsinki, Finland, 48p. + annexes.Google Scholar
  30. Samman, E., Presler, M. E., & Jones, N. (2016). Mothers, children and the global childcare crisis. London: ODI.Google Scholar
  31. Short, S. (2000). Time use data in the household satellite account October 2000. London: ONS.Google Scholar
  32. SNA. (1993). System of national accounts. New York: Commission of the European Communities, IMF, OECD, UN, WB.Google Scholar
  33. Sousa-Poza, A., Widmer, R., & Schmid, H. (1999). Assigning monetary values to unpaid labour using input-based spproaches: The Swiss case. Forschungsinstitut für Arbeit und Arbeitsrecht, Universität St. Gallen, Diskussionpapiere n° 59, 26p.Google Scholar
  34. Stiglitz, J., Sen, A., & Fitoussi, J. P. (2009). Report by the commission on the measurement of economic performance and social progress.
  35. United Nations. (2016). Leave no one behind. A call to action for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Report of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, 138p.Google Scholar
  36. United Nations Statistics Division. (2016). International classification of activities for time use statistics.
  37. Varjonen, J., Niemi, I., Hamunen, E., Sandström, T., & Pääkkönen, H. (1999). Proposal for a satellite account of household production (Eurostat Working papers 9/1999/A4/11). Luxemburg, Eurostat,
  38. Varjonen, J., Hamunen, E., & Soinne, K. (2014). Satellite accounts on household production: Eurostat methodology and experiences to apply it (Working Papers 1/2014).Google Scholar
  39. Waring, M. (1988). Counting for nothing: What men value and what women are worth. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Charmes
    • 1
  1. 1.IRD University of Paris DescartesParisFrance

Personalised recommendations