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Dynamic Wage and Employment Effects of Elder Parent Care

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  • Meghan Skira

    ()
    (Boston College)

Abstract

This paper formulates and estimates a dynamic discrete choice model of elder parent care and work to analyze how caregiving affects a woman’s current and future labor force participation and wages. Intertemporal tradeoffs, such as decreased future earning capacity due to a current reduction in labor market work, are central to the decision to provide care. The existing literature, however, overlooks such long-term considerations. I depart from the previous literature by modeling caregiving and work decisions in an explicitly intertemporal framework. The model incorporates dynamic elements such as the health of the elderly parent, human capital accumulation and job offer availability. I estimate the model on a sample of women from the Health and Retirement Study by efficient method of moments. The estimates indicate that intertemporal tradeoffs matter considerably. In particular, women face low probabilities of returning to work or increasing work hours after a caregiving spell. Using the estimates, I simulate several government sponsored elder care policy experiments: a longer unpaid leave than currently available under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; a paid work leave; and a caregiver allowance. The leaves encourage more work among intensive care providers since they guarantee a woman can return to her job, while the caregiver allowance discourages work. A comparison of the welfare gains generated by the policies shows that half the value of the paid leave can be achieved with the unpaid leave, and the caregiver allowance generates gains comparable to the unpaid leave.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 792.

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Date of creation: 27 Mar 2012
Date of revision: 16 Aug 2013
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:792

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Keywords: Informal care; employment; dynamic discrete choice; structural estimation; Fam- ily and Medical Leave Act;

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References

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  1. Maxim Engers & Steven Stern, 2002. "Long-Term Care and Family Bargaining," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(1), pages 73-114, February.
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  9. Melissa Tartari, 2006. "Divorce and the cognitive achievement of children," 2006 Meeting Papers 32, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Heitmueller, Axel, 2007. "The chicken or the egg?: Endogeneity in labour market participation of informal carers in England," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 536-559, May.
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  12. David Byrne & Michelle S. Goeree & Bridget Hiedemann & Steven Stern, 2009. "Formal Home Health Care, Informal Care, And Family Decision Making," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1205-1242, November.
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  14. Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Heitmueller, Axel & Nazarov, Zafar, 2010. "A dynamic analysis of informal care and employment in England," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 455-465, June.
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  17. Hiedemann, Bridget & Stern, Steven, 1999. "Strategic play among family members when making long-term care decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 29-57, September.
  18. Meta Brown, 2006. "Informal Care and the Division of End-of-Life Transfers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
  19. Edward C. Norton & Courtney Harold Van Houtven, 2006. "Inter-vivos Transfers and Exchange," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 157–172, July.
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  22. Carmichael, Fiona & Charles, Sue, 1998. "The labour market costs of community care1," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 747-765, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Michelle Sovinsky & Steven Stern, 2013. "Dynamic modelling of long-term care decisions," ECON - Working Papers 113, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Michelle Sovinsky & Steven Stern, 2012. "Dynamic Modelling of Long-Term Care Decisions," Working Papers 2012-019, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

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