«State expenditure of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and unpaid work Summary Mirjam von Felten This study examines the question of whether cuts in public ...»
The following two sections examine the first two questions in detail. The question of the economic relationship between public expenditure and unpaid labour, which is ultimately of interest for a gender-sensitive budget analysis, is approached in this part from an overall economic standpoint, i.e. factoring in the totality of economic resources, and above all time, money and labour. When considering the overall economy of the canton of Basel-Stadt, there are two possible
1. The focus is on the welfare of all inhabitants of the canton: the way in which residents lead their lives through their work, paid or unpaid. Conventional economic theory and statistics treat households solely as consumption units which have a certain amount of income at their disposal. They are not analysed and statistically recorded as locations where unpaid work is carried out and services are performed that are essential to our welfare. To convey an idea of the economic importance of unpaid labour in the lives of Basel-Stadt residents, the first chapter discusses the magnitude of their unpaid and paid labour.
2. The canton’s economic potential depends not only on the wellbeing and services performed by its inhabitants, but also on the economic benefits that the canton of Basel-Stadt, with its large number of jobs, derives from those who commute to the canton for work purposes.
State expenditure of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and unpaid work 104 Gender-responsive budget analysis in the Canton of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland Likewise the cantonal income depends not only on the levies, assets and tax revenue generated by the population, but also on the companies and other legal entities which have their economic base in Basel. The second section therefore compares the economic dimensions of Basel-Stadt as a business centre with those relating to unpaid labour performed by the canton’s inhabitants.
The study was based on the 2000 economic statistics and cantonal account, and the Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS), which is the only study to include relatively detailed statistics on unpaid labour and, thanks to a sufficiently large random sample (N=1085), enables a statistical assessment of the canton of Basel-Stadt.
Every year SLFS conducts a telephone survey on paid work among the permanent population of Switzerland. Every three years (1997 and 2000 to date) the survey also includes questions about unpaid work.
The SLFS study shows the work performed by residents of the canton (aged 15 and up) including work outside the canton. If a person visits a friend in Allschwil (outside Basel) and does her shopping and cooks for her because she is ill, this work is included but not vice versa if the friend comes to Basel to help out. The same applies to calculations for paid labour: Only the work performed by residents of Basel-Stadt is recorded by the SLFS, regardless of whether it was performed inside or outside the canton. Conversely, the calculation does not cover the paid labour of many commuters who work in Basel City.
In terms of unpaid labour, the SLFS asks interviewees how much time they spent doing unpaid work the day before the interview. Work is defined as any task that another person could perform for us in return for payment (third-person criterion): Thus preparing meals is work but not eating. Learning is not work, nor is showering, but bathing other people is. The dividing line between unpaid labour and leisure time is also prescribed by an activity list (see Table 1).
The monetary value3 in Switzerland of unpaid labour, as contrasted in this section with other economic variables, was estimated for the first time for 1997 on the basis of the SLFS survey (Schmid et al. 1999).
3 As part of the quantification of unpaid labour, it was also considered necessary to determine the cost of such labour if it were to be purchased, i.e. its monetary value. With this in mind Schmid et al. (1999) drew up groups of similar professional activities and then calculated the value of unpaid labour using the average salaries in these groups (gross income plus employer’s social security contributions). The same data sets have now been used to estimate the value of unpaid labour in the canton of Basel-Stadt. The calculations for the canton of BaselStadt and the conversion to the 2000 value were carried out by Andrea Pfeifer.
State expenditure of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and unpaid work 105 Gender-responsive budget analysis in the Canton of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland Compared to so-called time-use surveys, in which participants keep a diary recording how their time is spent over a 24-hour period, surveys on unpaid labour
of the type conducted by the SLFS have their weaknesses:
• A comparison carried out by Strub und Bauer (2002:2f.) showed that women underestimated the time spent on tasks, while men overestimated.
According to the SLFS data the proportion of unpaid work accounted for by men is clearly too high, particularly in terms of the time spent on care. Despite this, the results provide important indications for orders of magnitude. However, only minimum statistics for women are presented below.
• A survey conducted along the same lines as the SLFS cannot record the simultaneity of tasks. Women (and men) frequently perform caring tasks simultaneously with housework, for example if young children come into the kitchen while they are cooking and empty cupboards, bang pot lids or ask questions.
Care tasks performed simultaneously with household chores are therefore grossly underestimated in the SLFS study. Time budget surveys conducted in Australia show that the time spent on care increases fourfold if the care provided during household chores is also counted (Ironmonger 1996:56).
• Surveys of this kind cannot record the working rhythm and the (limited) control over time. Children dictate the working rhythm and interrupt carers during their other tasks. Moreover, they require presence of the carer over long periods (in terms of hours), which severely restricts carers’ control over time.
State expenditure of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and unpaid work 106 Gender-responsive budget analysis in the Canton of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland Work and income of residents of the canton of Basel-Stadt Unpaid labour Table 1 shows the main unpaid tasks performed by residents of the canton of Basel-Stadt in the course of one year, in order of work volume.
Table 1 Unpaid labour by residents of Basel-Stadt (age 15-plus) in 2000 in CHF milions (Volume of work in millions of hours and corresponding monetary value*
• Preparing meals is the most time-consuming task performed by women and men; together with the related tasks of setting the table and washing the dishes, it is by far the leading activity. The 63.5 million hours spent in total on such activities is slightly more than the hours worked by the population of Basel-Stadt in the manufacturing industry, commerce, trade and the construction sector (see Table 4). Residents of Basel-Stadt spend roughly as much time washing and ironing as they do working in the public administration.
• The table also shows that men and women perform very different unpaid tasks. Tasks to which men devote much less time than women include preparing meals, cleaning/tidying up, washing the dishes/setting the table, washing/ ironing, feeding or bathing the children, accompanying and transporting children, and what are referred to as “informal” unpaid tasks (assistance provided to relatives and acquaintances in the form of childcare, looking after adults in need of care, and other services). If we want to gain a better understanding of the impact of public expenditure on male and female unpaid labour, we must factor these differences into the activities. The fact that Basel-Stadt residents devote more time to playing with children and helping them with their homework (18.5 million hours) than on paid work in education (11.1 million hours) is particularly noteworthy.
Table 2 summarises Table 1 and differentiates between housework, care-giving in the household (looking after children and adults in need of care) and helping out in relatives’ and acquaintances’ households, as well as volunteer activities.
Table 2 Unpaid labour by residents of Basel-Stadt (age 15-plus) in 2000: Care-giving and volunteer activities (volume of work in millions of hours and corresponding monetary* value in CHF millions)
* Gross value incl. social security contributions of employers and employees Source: Schweizerische Arbeitskräfteerhebung (SAKE) 2000 (Calculations: A. Pfeifer, Compiled by M. Madoerin) State expenditure of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and unpaid work 108 Gender-responsive budget analysis in the Canton of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland As mentioned above, care-giving may be grossly underestimated since additional care-giving is performed at the same time as housework. Despite this, the total number of hours spent on providing care in the household and assisting in other households is impressive (33.0 million): this is equivalent to the hours worked by residents of Basel-Stadt in industry and trade (see Table 4).
Compared to the volume of housework and family work, the volume of volunteer work performed for civil society organisations is very low, corresponding to 3.5% of the total hours devoted to unpaid labour (see Table 2). Since sport, interest groups and politics are included in this category, the volume of work performed by men here is larger than by women. Hence volunteer work for organisations that provide childcare, also included in this category, can offer no substitute as a way of relieving working mothers of their burden, since the volume of volunteer work would need to be multiplied several times over in order to achieve a substantial reduction in the volume of housework and family work. In 2000 around 164,200 people aged above 15 were living in Basel-Stadt. Of this number, some 30,000 men and women were solely or jointly responsible for caring for children under 15. They account for 18% of the population (aged 15 and above), yet they are responsible for 30% of the hours devoted by residents to housework and caring in their own household. Women with children make up 9.5% of the 164,200 residents but perform around 22% of all household chores and are responsible for 54% of the care-giving in households.
More than half the time devoted to care-giving by men and women in Basel-Stadt in their own home is therefore accounted for by a minority of women with children (under 15) who make up less than 10% of this population group. The value of this care-giving work in 2000 corresponded to around CHF 500 million. This is on a par with the gross income earned by Basel-Stadt residents in the trade and repairs sector (see Table 4) during the same year, and is close to the canton’s personnel costs for the education department and the cantonal policey.4 Table 3 shows how unevenly unpaid labour per head is distributed and how the average workload changes when men and women have children. Women with children (under 15) work on average more hours than persons in full-time employment. Compared with persons without children, the workload per person (men and women) rises to 192% due to unpaid work if one or more children are living in the household.
For women it more than doubles (to 226%), while for men it increases only to 140%.
Note that men living in households with children perform 24% less housework than those living in households without children.
4 These figures are based on calculations made by A. Pfeifer/M. Madoerin based on the SLFS 2000, statistics on the personnel costs of canton Basel-Stadt, and the Statistical Yearbook of the Canton of Basel-Stadt 2001, p. 299.
State expenditure of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and unpaid work 109 Gender-responsive budget analysis in the Canton of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland Table 3 Unpaid labour by residents of Basel-Stadt with and without children below age 15 in 2000 (hours per year and per working person) 5
Source: Schweizerische Arbeitskräfteerhebung (SAKE) 2000 (Calculations: A. Pfeifer and M. Madoerin) * only persons who have effectively performed this work. For the purposes of the calculation, it was assumed that all individuals belonging to this group performed housework but not all were care-givers.