Care, labour force participation and health: the case of Italy

Chiara Mussida*, Raffaella Patimo

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Purpose – This paper investigates the relationship between health and labour market participation considering the potential role played by the presence of children and elderly persons (with/without disabilities) in Italian households. Design/methodology/approach – The authors use longitudinal data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions and full-information maximum likelihood to estimate a two-equation model (one equation for labour force participation and one for health status) with instruments to address the endogeneity of the labour force participation choice. The model is estimated separately by gender. Findings – The authors find that while the presence of children, elderly persons or both is positively associated with the health status of both genders, the presence of disabled elderly persons exerts a negative role. As for participation, interesting differences emerge. The presence of children discourages women’s participation but is positively associated with men’s labour force participation. Interestingly, a caring role for elderly persons without disability emerges for both genders when the presence of children is combined with that of elderly people. Gender differences are also at work for the role of childcare services and elderly and/or disabled home care/assistance. Originality/value – The findings indicate a possible caring role for elderly persons without disabilities, neutralizing the effect of the presence of children on the labour force participation of both genders. The results also suggest that greater coverage of care services should increase the active participation of women in the labour market.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)91-107
Numero di pagine17
RivistaInternational Journal of Manpower
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2023


  • Care responsibilities
  • Gender issues
  • Health status
  • Labour force participation


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