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Time-Bound Opportunity Costs of Informal Care: Consequences for Access to Professional Care, Caregiver Support, and Labour Supply Estimates

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  • Hassink, Wolter

    ()
    (Utrecht University)

  • van den Berg, Bernard

    ()
    (University of York)

Abstract

Patterns of informal care are documented throughout the day with Dutch time use diary data. The diary data enable us to identify a, so far overlooked, source of opportunity costs of informal care, i.e. the necessity to perform particular tasks of informal care at specific moments of the day. Some care tasks are relatively unshiftable, while other tasks are shiftable implying that they can be performed at other moments of the day or even on different days. In particular, household and organization activities seem to be shiftable for employed caregivers, while personal care seems to contain unshiftable activities. This implies an additional opportunity cost of providing personal care tasks. As the care recipient’s need for care may be related to the possibility to shift informal care throughout the day, we conclude that one should be careful with using care need as an instrument of informal care in labour supply equations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5433.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Social Science and Medicine, 2011, 73 (10), 1508-1516
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5433

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Keywords: paid work; informal care; opportunity cost; use of time; labor supply; joint production;

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References

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  1. Bernard van den Berg & Han Bleichrodt & Louis Eeckhoudt, 2005. "The economic value of informal care: a study of informal caregivers' and patients' willingness to pay and willingness to accept for informal care," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 363-376.
  2. Susan L. Ettner, 1996. "The Opportunity Costs of Elder Care," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 189-205.
  3. van den Berg, Bernard & Brouwer, Werner & van Exel, Job & Koopmanschap, Marc & van den Bos, Geertrudis A.M. & Rutten, Frans, 2006. "Economic valuation of informal care: Lessons from the application of the opportunity costs and proxy good methods," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 835-845, February.
  4. 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.
  5. Riewpaiboon, Arthorn & Riewpaiboon, Wachara & Ponsoongnern, Kanyarat & Van den Berg, Bernard, 2009. "Economic valuation of informal care in Asia: A case study of care for disabled stroke survivors in Thailand," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 648-653, August.
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  12. Wimo, Anders & von Strauss, Eva & Nordberg, Gunilla & Sassi, Franco & Johansson, Lennarth, 2002. "Time spent on informal and formal care giving for persons with dementia in Sweden," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 255-268, September.
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  15. Van Houtven, Courtney Harold & Norton, Edward C., 2004. "Informal care and health care use of older adults," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1159-1180, November.
  16. 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. Jacobs, Josephine C. & Lilly, Meredith B. & Ng, Carita & Coyte, Peter C., 2013. "The fiscal impact of informal caregiving to home care recipients in Canada: How the intensity of care influences costs and benefits to government," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 102-109.
  2. 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.
  3. Nguyen, Ha Trong & Connelly, Luke Brian, 2014. "The effect of unpaid caregiving intensity on labour force participation: Results from a multinomial endogenous treatment model," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 115-122.
  4. Ciani, Emanuele, 2012. "Informal adult care and caregivers' employment in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 155-164.

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