Article

What is the value of domestic work in Spain?

Marta Dominguez Folgueras, Department of Sociology of Sciences Po (Paris Institute of Political Studies)

The value of domestic work in Spain exceeds 426.372 million euros, over 40,72% of GDP.
Key points
  • 1
       GDP is the main indicator of a country’s national accounts system and economy, but it does not contemplate many activities carried out in homes, as they are not exchanged in the market. This is the case with care of children and dependents, cooking, and household cleaning.
  • 2
       The economic cost of these activities is estimated by calculating the time that household members invest in domestic tasks and multiplying it by the wage that would be paid to an outside person to do those tasks (8.09 euros per hour). According to the calculations made in this study, non-remunerated work would represent some 40.8% of GDP.
  • 3
       Men and women contribute to this work unequally, with the female contribution being the most important. If the non-remunerated work done by women were taken into account when calculating GDP, it would have represented 26.2% of the GDP of 2010, a percentage similar to the industrial sector.
Economic value of different non-remunerated activities. By gender, in 2010.
Economic value of different non-remunerated activities. By gender, in 2010.

To calculate the value of domestic work, different non-remunerated activities that appear in the graph are taken into account. Tasks related with food (meal preparation, washing up, shopping) are the most expensive, followed by household maintenance (mainly cleaning but also repairs).

Then come tasks related with clothing (washing, drying, ironing, sewing), care of children and dependents, and regular journeys for carrying out activities.

Gender inequalities

The difference is especially important in activities related with food, mainly performed by women. 

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