1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Gender Justice and Development

Social Care in Mexico: Assessment and Prospects

  • Project from: 2021 to 2022

The research considers the impacts of three policy interventions (universal free quality childcare, extended school days for school-age children, and universal elder care) to inform decision-making by Mexico’s National Institute of Women (INMUJERES). The Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty (LIMTIP) is estimated, and the three areas of social care investment are assessed in terms of their impacts on distribution of employment and earnings, time use within households, and time and income poverty.

The Research Issue and Objectives

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the expansion of care services in many countries around the world. This is due partly to greater recognition that the responsibility for unpaid care work, which falls most heavily on women within households, is a major obstacle to women’s labour force engagement. Unlocking this potential labour is thought to be important due to its positive impacts for economic growth, women’s economic empowerment, or both. The expansion of social provisioning of care services is thus promoted with an eye towards growth and, perhaps, poverty reduction. Relatively little research has directly examined the linkages between social provisioning of care, the expansion of employment opportunities for women, and growth. Even less attention has been paid to the potential impact of labour force engagement for women’s time use and time poverty.

The project entails estimating the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty (LIMTIP) for Mexico in 2019, and using that as a baseline to then simulate the effects of different policy interventions.

The LIMTIP is a measurement framework that allows well-informed estimation of poverty rates and depth of poverty, taking into account not only income but also time. It is accompanied by a simulation tool that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a policy intervention in reducing time and income poverty simultaneously. Such an understanding is particularly important for formulating policies that promote gender, social and economic justice in a coherent and integrated manner.

Activities, Expected Results and Beneficiaries

The work will be carried out in four stages.
  • Estimate the LIMTIP for Mexico for 2019.
  • Create models for the three types of social care expansion.
  • Simulate the impacts of the expansion of employment resulting from the policy interventions in terms of the distribution of new jobs, effects on individual earnings and household income, and redistribution of time spent on household production within affected households.
  • Estimate the individual and combined impacts on the time and income poverty status of affected individuals and households.

The results will be used by the Mexican government to inform its decision making around the implementation of its National Care System. The direct beneficiary is Mexico’s National Institute of Women (INMUJERES) and its local counterparts; indirect beneficiaries are the women and men in Mexico who require or provide care in their lifetime.

UNRISD is partnering with the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College (USA) to carry out the research.


The project has received funding from Mexico's National Institute for Women (INMUJERES).