Does the Presence of a Disabled Person in the Household Affect the Employment Probabilities of Cohabiting Women? Evidence from Italy, France and the UK

  • Chiara Mussida
  • Dario SciulliEmail author
Original Paper


This paper investigates how the presence of a disabled person in the household affects the employment probabilities of cohabiting women. Using a unique data source and a dynamic probit model accounting for unobserved heterogeneity and endogenous initial conditions, we analyze Italy, France, and the UK, three countries that diverge substantially in terms of welfare system regimes, family and employment policies, and social norms. In line with care theory suggestions, we find that in Italy, where formal caring services are limited, and the male breadwinner model persists, women see reduced employment possibilities when cohabiting with disabled persons. In France and the UK, where family and employment policies, such as low-cost formal care and part-time jobs, provide some support for women in reconciling unpaid and paid work, the presence of a disabled person increases employment probabilities. In disentangling the contributions of disability benefits, it appears that they might provide financial resources to support formal caregiving and, therefore, mitigate the caregiving responsibilities of women.


Disability Female employment Informal care Institutions Disability benefit 



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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economic and Social SciencesUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuorePiacenzaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Economic StudiesUniversity of Chieti-PescaraPescaraItaly

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