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Caring for Mom and Neglecting Yourself? The Health Effects of Caring for an Elderly Parent

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  • Coe, N.B.
  • Van Houtven, C.H.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

We examine the physical and mental health effects of providing care to an elderly mother on the adult child caregiver. We address the endogeneity of the selection in and out of caregiving using an instrumental variable approach, and carefully control for baseline health and work status of the adult child using fixed effects and Arellano-Bond estimation techniques. Continued caregiving over time increases depressive symptoms for married women and married men. In addition, the increase in depressive symptoms is persistent for married men. Depressive symptoms for single men and women are not affected by continued caregiving. There is a small protective effect on the likelihood (10%) of having any heart conditions among married women who continue caregiving. Robustness checks confirm that the increase in depressive symptoms and decrease in likelihood of heart conditions can be directly attributable to caregiving behavior, and not due to a direct effect of the death of the mother. The initial onset of caregiving, by contrast, has no immediate effects on physical or mental health for any subgroup of caregivers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2008-89.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:200889

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: CES-D; depressive symptoms; heart conditions; elderly parents; informal care;

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References

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  1. Steven Stern & Maxim Engers, . "Long-Term Care and Family Bargaining," Virginia Economics Online Papers 320, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  2. Tennille J. Checkovich & Steven Stern, 2002. "Shared Caregiving Responsibilities of Adult Siblings with Elderly Parents," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 441-478.
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  9. K. Bolin & B. Lindgren & P. Lundborg, 2007. "Informal and Formal Care among Single-living Elderly in Europe," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-031/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  10. Heitmueller, Axel, 2004. "The Chicken or the Egg? Endogeneity in Labour Market Participation of Informal Carers in England," IZA Discussion Papers 1366, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Kathleen M. McGarry, 1998. "5. Caring for the Elderly: The Role of Adult Children," NBER Chapters, in: Inquiries in the Economics of Aging, pages 133-166 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Van Houtven, Courtney Harold & Norton, Edward C., 2008. "Informal care and Medicare expenditures: Testing for heterogeneous treatment effects," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 134-156, January.
  13. K. Bolin & B. Lindgren & P. Lundborg, 2007. "Informal and Formal Care among Single-living Elderly in Europe," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-031/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  14. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  15. Janet Currie & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1998. "Health, Health Insurance and the Labor Market," JCPR Working Papers 27, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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  18. 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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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Schmitz, H.; & Westphal, M.;, 2013. "Short- and medium-term effects of informal care provision on health," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 13/23, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. Cinzia Di Novi & Rowena Jacobs & Matteo Migheli, 2013. "The quality of life of female informal caregivers: from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean Sea," Working Papers 084cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  3. Young Kyung Do & Edward C. Norton & Sally Stearns & Courtney H. Van Houtven, 2013. "Informal Care and Caregiver's Health," NBER Working Papers 19142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Meliyanni Johar & Shiko Maruyama, 2011. "Intergenerational cohabitation in modern Indonesia: filial support and dependence," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(S1), pages 87-104, 09.
  5. Goltz, Andreas & Arnault, Louis, 2014. "Can formal home care reduce the burden of informal care for elderly dependents? Evidence from France," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13164, Paris Dauphine University.
  6. HwaJung Choi, 2011. "Parents’ Health and Adult Children’s Subsequent Working Status: A Perspective of Intergenerational Transfer and Time Allocation," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 493-507, September.
  7. Kuo-Liang Chang & George Langelett & Andrew Waugh, 2011. "Health, Health Insurance, and Decision to Exit from Farming," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 356-372, June.
  8. Norton Edward C. & Nicholas Lauren H. & Huang Sean Sheng-Hsiu, 2013. "Informal Care and Inter-vivos Transfers: Results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Mature Women," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 377-400, May.
  9. Elenka Brenna & Cinzia Di Novi, 2013. "Is caring for elderly parents detrimental to women’s mental health? The influence of the European North-South gradient," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def4, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  10. Schmitz, Hendrik & Stroka, Magdalena A., 2013. "Health and the double burden of full-time work and informal care provision — Evidence from administrative data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 305-322.
  11. Li-Jung Ku & Sally Stearns & Courtney Houtven & George Holmes, 2012. "The health effects of caregiving by grandparents in Taiwan: an instrumental variable estimation," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 521-540, December.
  12. Van Houtven, Courtney Harold & Coe, Norma B. & Skira, Meghan M., 2013. "The effect of informal care on work and wages," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 240-252.

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