The Impact of Public Investment in Social Care Services on Employment, Gender Equality, and Poverty: The Turkish Case

The social care service sector (i.e., care services for children, the elderly, the disabled, and the sick) remains an underdeveloped sector in Turkey. In terms of early childhood care and preschool education (ECCPE), an important subsector of social care, Turkey has the lowest rate of provisioning by a large margin among Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development (OECD) countries. Recent research has revealed that the lack of high-quality, accessible social care services places significant constraints on female labor supply in Turkey, and is among the key factors that weaken women’s labor market attachment. Beyond the much-debated female labor supply effects, this study evaluates a demand- side economic rationale for public investment in the social care sector by estimating its potential for employment creation, pro-women allocation of jobs, and poverty alleviation compared to the construction sector, which has been an engine of economic growth in Turkey in the past decade.

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