Migration and a Care Conundrum? Factors Affecting Care Penalties across Four Welfare Regimes

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Naomi LIGHTMAN, University of Calgary, Canada
Existing literature on social policy is divided as to the ongoing relevance of welfare regime typologies given considerable heterogeneity within as well as between categories (Brennenstuhl, Quesnel-Vallee and McDonough 2012, Reibling 2010). However, many cross-national analyses of care work continue to rely on grouping countries into “clusters” based on the quality of social rights, the extent of social stratification and the relation of state, market and family (e.g. Mahone et al. 2012, Michel and Peng 2012). This study quantifies any “care penalty” in both high and low status care work across four welfare regimes and within thirteen countries using data from the Luxembourg Income Study. Using cumulative logit models, I explore the impact of pertinent national-level conditions – welfare regime, immigrant composition, and income inequality – on individual-level factors affecting wages in care work – e.g. family structure and demographic characteristics, human capital and job characteristics - as well as quantifying the moderating effect of immigrant status. The data demonstrates that across numerous welfare regimes, individuals born outside of the country are more likely to work in low wage, low status care and incur additional wage penalties compared to native-born care workers with equivalent human capital. However, I also find that national-level conditions play a pertinent role. I find that rising levels of income inequality lead to wage polarization in care between migrant and non-migrant populations, and that welfare regimes continue to play a significant role, with wage penalties highest in Liberal and Central and Eastern European countries. I outline some possible explanations for these findings, as well as discussing areas that require further inquiry to improve understanding of the relationship between migration, paid care work, and welfare regime theory.