Dorota Witkowska , Krzysztof Kompa

(Polish) PDF


Providing care for one’s relatives is always a sacrifice, which, aside from the reduction of income, often entails the worsening of one’s professional position and, consequently, a lower pension in the future. The aim of the paper is to establish if the phenomenon of the loss of income by family caregivers (care penalty) is observable in the Polish labour market, and if it is, whom it affects. The research was carried out on the basis of the data from the Polish Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2009Q1. Factors affecting employees' income were identified using regression models which contained explanatory variables describing the employees and the structure of their families as well as the characteristics of their workplaces. The analysis was performed separately for all the respondents, according to the respondents’ sex, and for female employees aged 25–54. The parameters of the models of monthly and hourly wages which used various sets of variables reflecting the family structure were estimated using the OLS method. Introducing variables representing the structure of households made it possible to observe that both the phenomena of the loss of income by working mothers (motherhood penalty) and of the loss of income by caregivers of elderly relatives (eldercare penalty) do apply to the Polish labour market. The study also demonstrated that the reduction of caregivers' income, especially that of the caregivers of the elderly, affects mostly women aged 25-54. The results of the research indicate that a vast number of Polish families function according to the traditional model, where it is mostly women who combine the role of a caregiver with their professional career.


labour market, wages, eldercare, childcare


C21, E24, J13, J23


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