Policy briefs from project AgeWellAccounts

The AgeWellAccounts project (2016 joint call) studies how the different dimensions of wellbeing change over the life course and how they differ between countries. The aim is to identify the main determinants that influence wellbeing at each stage of life and to explore the relation between wellbeing and intergenerational support. This project published three policy policy briefs on I) age and gender inequalities in work and leisure time II) fertility and territorial well-being in Italy and III) inequalities in living standards across ages in France. Below you can find the executive summaries.

Policy brief: The rush hour of life

Time devoted to paid and unpaid family work varies considerably among individuals of different age and gender. The age and gender patterns are closely related to the institutional context, such as the availability of childcare facilities and the general attitude towards working mothers. Time diaries data offer valuable information to study individual choices on the allocation of time to work and leisure activities. Our results show that, on average, people aged from 25 to 54 years experience what might be called rush hours of life: they use considerably more time for work than for leisure. However, there are remarkable differences across countries. The amount of time devoted to work is about equal for men and women in Austria. By contrast, the rush hours are more intense for women than men in Italy and Slovenia. The prevalence of full-time dual-earner couples in Slovenia resultsin a double shift of women, who provide the major part of unpaid work. Italian women are characterised by a large amount of time devoted to unpaid work. This results in a highly unequal gender division of work within couples, with women devoting more timeto work than men. Broadening the understanding of the rush hour of life is fundamental for the development of effective work–family reconciliation policies.

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Policy brief: Fertility and territorial well-being in Italy

How is fertility related to social, economic and environmental quality? We try to answer this question with reference to Italy in the period 2010-2017 through the analysis of the association between the regional fertility rates and a rich system of regional indicators measuring various aspects of the social, economic and environmental quality (Equitable and Sustainable Well-being or Benessere Equo e Sostenibile – BES, in Italian). The results show that in regions best performing in terms of economic conditions and of the functioning of public services as well as in terms of the quality of educational system and of the environment, fertility is higher than the national average. This happens in the North-Eastern areas of the country, while in the South and in the Islands the overall citizens life quality is at the lowest level and fertility continues to decline. This suggests that there is a need for active policies both at national and local level with the aim of reducing economic disparities between citizens and of improving the quality of the public services, especially those oriented towards the family and children.

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Policy brief: Inequalities in living standards across ages in France

This research quantifies the inequalities in living standards across ages in France. The standard of living of individuals is evaluated using individualized disposable income and private consumption. Results based on econometric models reveal that for the whole population, disposable income by age increases sharply (+43.7%) from ages 27 to 47, then levels out until 62 and finally rises moderately (+27.9%) until age 82. Furthermore, living standards are decomposed by educational attainment. The picture is very different for individuals without higher education: the increase in disposable income from ages 27 to 47 is much lower -it amounts to 23.9%- and a significant decline is observed around the retirement age. Disposable income for those without higher education is 11% lower at age 62 compared to age 47.

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