About Care Talk


Welcome to Care Talk! This blog was founded by Nancy Folbre to engage researchers, students, journalists, and others interested in the “care sector”– an important part of our economy devoted to the direct care of others through the family, the community, the market, and the state.  In collaboration with Jocelyn Olcott and the Revaluing Care in the Global Economy network, the blog now features posts by researchers working in the quantitative and qualitative social sciences as well as the humanities to explore the problems of 1) how to measure economic contributions made by families and communities; 2) the shortcomings of the standard “business model” based on profit maximization and consumer choice as a means of delivering effective care services through the market;  3) poor institutional design in the U.S. public sector, which often fails to deliver equitable, efficient, or politically sustainable systems of care provision; and 4) the analysis of alternative models for ensuring equitable access to and valuation of both paid and unpaid care.

Caregiving Skills for the Planet

Reflections on the value of some traditionally undervalued skills that are sorely needed today…

How a Dashboard on the Care Economy Came to Be

A new project to describe the empirical dimensions of the care economy in the U.S. is now underway.

Can Child Care Legislation Increase Women’s Participation in the Paid Labor Force?

This comparative global analysis links to a paper with impressive empirical details and answers “Yes.”

Carework Network Summit in Costa Rica

For the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown, the Carework Network convened an in-person summit — this time with a fully bilingual gathering of academics, activists, and policymakers in San José, Costa Rica.

Precarity and Care

Far from opposites, care and precarity are deeply entwined both etymologically and historically. Now, the increasing precarity created by current labor markets fosters a higher demand for care.

Care Talk 2.0

Welcome to Care Talk 2.0! In February 2008, economist Nancy Folbre launched the original Care Talk blog to reflect on research and policies regarding paid and unpaid carework. Written in a style that made material accessible to journalists, policymakers, and students as well as more seasoned researchers, the blog began with a focus on how to measure the economic contributions of unpaid care, the limitations of commercial models for care provision, and the problems that plague US systems of care provision.

The Escalating Cost of Care Services

Price of three major care services–day care and preschool, nursing homes and adult daycare, and medical care services, have risen much faster since 1998 than the price of the “all items” basket of goods and services that serves as the primary benchmark for analysis of inflation

Professional Climate Change

Things have been heating up, gender-wise, in the economics profession.

Medicare for All: Do the Numbers!

I’m increasingly convinced that we need to develop a larger care agenda, and health care is obviously central

Care Work, Animated

Invited by Professor Smita Ramnarain, once a student of mine here at UMass, I agreed to participate in an Honors Colloquium at the University of Rhode Island last October.

Care, Affluence, and Development

I am gearing up to attend the annual meetings of the Indian Society of Labour Economics in Mumbai, with support from the Canadian International Development Research Centre.

Try, Try, Try Again

On the referendum in Maine to create the Universal Home Care Program

After the Care Crisis

The opening question of a conference titled “After the Care Crisis” at the University of Pennsylvania on November 15 and 16 2018, was “What would an equitable relationship among care workers, employers, and society look like?” unique in bringing scholars and activists together.

The Carebot Conundrum

I am so much in favor of good care technology, but the risk of bad technology seems to be growing.

The World Bank, Getting Careless

The World Development Report 2019 purports to explore the changing nature of work in the global economy.