Changing life course and gender norms in a rapidly aging Latin American country
Uruguay was one of the first countries in Latin America to go through the demographic transition, moving from high fertility and mortality, to low fertility and mortality. Population growth stayed low during this process and population decline is projected to begin in the mid-21st century. Uruguay is now one of the oldest populations in the region. The Uruguay CWW team has demonstrated the large amount of unpaid care work done by older Uruguay women, meaning that the declines in productivity expected with population aging in the country may not be so severe if older women's home production is included in the outlook.
With lower fertility throughout the 20th century, many changes came to Uruguayan households. Delay of marriage and childbearing in order to obtain more education means that current cohorts of women entering the labor force in Uruguay now have more education than similar age men, a pattern seen in more and more countries around the world. Gender gaps still exist, with men specializing in market work and women specializing in unpaid care work, but those gaps are slowly shrinking and the Uruguay CWW/NTA team is working to understand those patterns. They find very different gender gaps in economic activity in both market and home by level of education. Adding this measure of socioeconomic status to CWW estimates brings a vital perspective to our research.