The Impact of Public Investment in Social Care Services on Employment, Gender Equality, and Poverty: The Turkish Case

18 Oct 2016 - 17 pages

The report is prepared by Istanbul Technical University Women’s Studies Center and the Levy Economics Institute with the partnership of the International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and United Nations Women (UN Women).

Beyond the female labor supply effects, this study evaluates a demand-side economic rationale for public investment in the social care services sector.

This study simulates the impact of an additional 20.7 billion TRY expenditure on child-care centers and preschools - the estimated amount in order for Turkey to catch up with the average OECD preschool enrollment rate - on new employment opportunities, as well as on gender equality, income generation and poverty.

It is shown that an expenditure of this magnitude in early childhood care and preschool education (ECCPE) would create 2.5 times more jobs in ECCPE and indirectly in other sectors than the number of jobs likely to be created with the same amount of investment in the construction sector. 719 thousand new jobs are created via expenditures on ECCPE versus 290,000 new jobs via construction. In addition, while 73% of the new jobs created via an ECCPE expansion are estimated to go to women, as little as 6% of the new jobs created via a construction boom go to women.

Beyond the Turkish context, the results of this study also have implications for policy debates in other countries in the region, most of which lack social care infrastructure.

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