In the face of an increasing percentage of elderly in the population of Western industrial societies the idea of “productive ageing” in the sense of an involvement of the elderly in productive activities has gained importance in the last years. This involves on the one hand their longer participation in the labour market, on the other hand, it includes various other forms of participation, such as volunteering, caring for parents, spouses or siblings, looking after their grandchildren and other informal productive activities such as volunteering.
Together with Susanne Strauß (Konstanz), I was working on a DFG-funded project it was to analyze which institutional circumstances enable the participation of the elderly in Europe in these different forms of productive activities as well as the gender and social gradient therein. The focus was predominantly on the analysis of individuals' participation in these activities, and how the participation in one activity influenced the participation in another. Moreover, we were interested in which welfare policy environments promote the participation in these activities. We were thus working comparatively, looking at different European countries on the basis of microdata (SHARE, EU-SILC).
A follow-up project on this topic is my current project at the Zukunftskolleg. Here, I am focusing in more detailed on the contextual embedding of the decisions regarding these "new" reconciliation issues which arise in the second half of life. I am particularly interested how they are embedded in individuals' life courses, within larger family and network structures, and in their given cultural and political context. Among others, I work together with Tiziana Nazio (WZB Berlin, Colegio Carlo Alberto in Turin) on caregiving arrangements and their impact on labour market participation.
Bertogg, Ariane, and Susanne Strauß. 2018. Spousal caregiving arrangements in Europe. The role of gender, socio-economic status and the welfare state. Ageing & Society, in press.