Care, Inequality, and Policy

Paula England, Nancy Folbre

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores the reasons for the link between care and the three distinct aspects of inequality. Empirical research shows that motherhood also reduces the wages of employed women, even if women do not reduce their hours of work. Lower access to earnings puts caregivers at a disadvantage in bargaining with their intimate partners. The role of markets in perpetuating and sometimes intensifying inequalities related to care provision helps explain the need for collective action to implement progressive public policy. Many feminists have grappled with the questions of how best to serve people’s needs for care and careworkers’ needs for support. Inequality of income affects people’s access to care, just as it affects access to many other things. Axes such as race, gender, nation, national origin, (dis)ability and so forth affect income. Most forms of state provision rely heavily on labor markets, whether individuals paid to provide care are employed by the state or by private firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChild Care and Inequality
Subtitle of host publicationRethinking Carework for Children and Youth
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781317794844
ISBN (Print)9780415933506
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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