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Unpaid caregiving and paid employment over the life-course

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Fiona Carmichael
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Please contact [email protected] for details regarding the application procedure for the PhD programme in the Business School at the University of Birmingham

Very Important: to apply for this project you need a masters level qualification in a social science discipline such as economics or sociology with competence in statistical analysis such as regression analysis. It would also be helpful if you had previously worked with panel data. You will need to write a research proposal.

Topic area
The tradeoff between informal caregiving and employment over the life-course.

Areas of study could include some or all of the following:
How informal caregiving for an adult or disabled child as welll as child care impacts on employment, income and wellbeing over time and also consideration of how employment participation can impact on willingness to supply care.
How free is the choice to undertake care and what motivates people to undertake care.
The incidence of caregiving: Who undertakes care? Men, women, older, richer, poorer, more/less educated?
The impact of demographic ageing on the demand and supply for informal care.

The research would involve quantitative analysis of panel data or other large data sets, e.g. BHPS/Understanding Society/ELSA/SHARE or either on its own or as a part of a mix of quantiative and qualitative methods.

In addition your research proposal should ideally fall within the scope of the following ESRC strategic priorities:

1. Influencing behaviour and Informing Interventions – Create a better understanding of how and why people and organisations make decisions, and how these can be managed or influenced.
2. A vibrant and fair society – Develop ways to enhance the role and contributions of citizens, voluntary sector organisations and social enterprises to create a vibrant national and global society.

To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in each school, the funding opportunities for each subject, and guidance on making your application, you can now order your copy of the new Doctoral Research Prospectus, at:

Funding Notes

Competitive within the College of Social Sciences (for ESRC scholarships) and the Business School (for School bursaries)


Carmichael F. and Charles S. A., (1998) The labour market costs of community care, Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 17, no. 6, 747-765
Carmichael F. and Charles S A., (2003) Benefit payments, informal care and female labour supply, Applied Economics Letters, 10:7, June, 411-416
Carmichael F. and Charles S A., (2003) The opportunity costs of informal care; does gender matter? Journal of Health Economics, 22, February, 781-803
Carmichael F, Connell G, Hulme C, Sheppard S., (2008) Work life imbalance; informal care and paid employment, Feminist Economics, April 14(2) 3-35 (ABS 3; Impact factor 1.234)
Carmichael F. and Hulme C., (2008) Are the Needs of Carers Being Met by Government Policy? Journal of Community Nursing, September 22:, 4-12 (Medicine: Impact factor 0.21)
Carmichael F., Ingham, B. and Chirijevskis A., (2009) Implications Of An Increasing Old-Age Dependency Ratio: The UK And Latvian Experiences Compared, Pensions, Special Issue on Global Pension Perspectives Part 2, 14:4 (Impact factor 0.28)
Carmichael F., Hulme. C., Ingham. B., Porcellato, L., and Prashar, A., (2010) Giving older workers a voice; constraints on employment, Work Employment and Society, Volume 24 Issue 1, March 2010, 85-103 (ABS 4; Impact factor 1.236)
Carmichael F., Charles, S. and Hulme, C. T., (2010) Who will care? Employment status and willingness to supply informal care, Journal of Health Economics, 29, 182-90 (ABS 3; ESA A*; Impact factor 2.341)
Carmichael, F, Duberley, J. and Szmigin, I. (2013) Exploring Women’s Retirement: Continuity, Context and Career Transition, Gender, Work & Organization, doi:10.1111/gwao.12013 (ABS 3: Impact factor 1.207)
Carmichael, F., Hulme, C. and Porcellato, L. (2013) Older age and ill-health: links to work and worklessness, International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 6:1, 54 - 65, doi:10.1108/17538351311312330 (Medicine: Impact factor 0.712)
Carmichael, F. and Ercolani, M. (2014) Overlooked and undervalued: the caring contribution of older people, International Journal of Social Economics 41:5 (accepted for publication July 2013; ESA B; Impact factor 0.2)
Carmichael, F. and Ercolani, M. (2014) Age-training gaps in the European Union, Ageing and Society, 34:01 129-156 doi:10.1017/S0144686X12000852 (Gerontology 4 (15/30): Impact factor 1.309)
Carmichael, F., Duberley, J. and Szmigin, I. ( 2014) Older women and their participation in exercise and leisure-time physical activity: the double edged sword of work, Sport in Society

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Business and Management Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 53.10

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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