Skip navigation

The financial costs of caring in the British labour market: is there a wage penalty for workers in caring occupations?

The financial costs of caring in the British labour market: is there a wage penalty for workers in caring occupations?

Barron, David N. and West, Elizabeth (2011) The financial costs of caring in the British labour market: is there a wage penalty for workers in caring occupations? British Journal of Industrial Relations, 51 (1). pp. 104-123. ISSN 0007-1080 (Print), 1467-8543 (Online) (doi:10.1111/j.1467-8543.2011.00884.x)

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Recent evidence from the USA suggests that people engaged in occupations involving providing care for others, such as childcare and teaching, suffer a wage penalty. After taking into account job and individual characteristics such as level of education and work experience, people in these occupations in the American study earned about 6 per cent less than their peers in other types of occupation. However, we do not yet know if people working in similar occupations in other countries also suffer the same degree of disadvantage. The issue is important because, despite the perception that people in caring jobs place a relatively low weight on the level of remuneration when making career decisions,a number of studies have shown clear evidence of an association between pay and the propensity to give up working in a caring occupation. There are implications too for social inequality as many caring jobs are done by women and associated wage penalties could contribute to the persistent gender gap in pay. This study compares and contrasts the predictions of neoclassical economics, cultural feminist theory and social closure theory. Data are taken from 17 waves of the British Household Panel Survey and include a total of 23,773 individuals, giving 110,677 person-year observations. These data are analysed using multi-level linear regression. The results show clear evidence of a statistically significant wage penalty associated with working in some caring occupations. Those occupations requiring lower levels of educational qualification, such as nursing assistants and auxiliaries, are particularly hard-hit by the wage penalty. On the other hand, some occupations, such as medicine and teaching, have fared better than comparable non-caring occupations over the same period. We discuss the implications of these results for the gender gap in pay, poverty, social inequality and the future supply of caring workers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] First published online: 08 December 2011. [2] Issue published online: 25 FEB 2013. [3] Published in print: March 2013. [4] Published as: British Journal of Industrial Relations, (2013), Vol. 51, (1), pp. 104–123.
Uncontrolled Keywords: wages, caring occupations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
School of Health & Social Care > Centre for Nursing & Healthcare Research
School of Health & Social Care > Department of Social Work & Health Development
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:17
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/7082

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item