Several countries in Europe have introduced policies aimed at developing the domestic services sector, widely considered as an important source of jobs for the unskilled, by subsidizing consumers’ demand for household services.
By Nathalie Morel (Science Po Paris, LIEPP & CEE)
Arguments in favour of these policies relate to employment creation and to the need to respond more cheaply to new social needs such as child- and eldercare. But a stated objective is also to support the productivity of the more skilled individuals by allowing them to outsource domestic tasks in order to devote more time to labour market activities with a higher added value. In her presentation Nathalie Morel analyses the policy rationale and discourse behind such an employment strategy, and its consequences, shedding light on how these policies effectively contribute to (re)shaping the social division of labor and to the polarization of the labor market, as well as to inequalities in access to social services.
About the lecturer:
Nathalie Morel is assistant professor at Science Po Paris (LIEPP & CEE). She edited the influential Policy Press volume ‘Towards a Social Investment Welfare State’. She currently works on the politics of fiscal welfare and the political economy of household services.