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The Elderly, Women's Work and Social Security Costs

Gerdt Sundström
Acta Sociologica
Vol. 25, No. 1, The Informal Side of Welfare (1982), pp. 21-38
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4194376
Page Count: 18
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The Elderly, Women's Work and Social Security Costs
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Abstract

The article intends to demonstrate the continuing importance of informal care, especially of the elderly, and for social security costs. The author argues that social security costs depend on the availability of informal care, not solely on economic level and the proportion of elderly in a country's population (as maintained by Wilensky). Eight countries are studied. The indicator of availability of informal care is number of women 45-59 years per 1 000 elderly. Rates of co-residence between generations are assumed to measure actual care exchanged. Changes 1955-1975 are analysed. The author concludes that a consideration of alternative informal care is a fruitful addition to 'harder' variables in research on the welfare state.

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