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Long-Term Care of the Disabled Elderly: Do Children Increase Caregiving by Spouses?

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  • Liliana E. Pezzin
  • Robert A. Pollak
  • Barbara S. Schone

Abstract

Do adult children affect the care elderly parents provide each other? We develop two models in which the anticipated behavior of adult children provides incentives for elderly parents to increase care for their disabled spouses. The "demonstration effect" postulates that adult children learn from a parent's example that family caregiving is appropriate behavior. The "punishment effect" postulates that adult children may punish parents who fail to provide spousal care by not providing future care for the nondisabled spouse when necessary. Thus, joint children act as a commitment mechanism, increasing the probability that elderly spouses will provide care for each other; stepchildren with weak attachments to their parents provide weaker incentives for spousal care than joint children. Using data from the HRS, we find evidence that spouses provide more care when they have children with strong parental attachment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14328.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
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Publication status: published as Liliana Pezzin & Robert Pollak & Barbara Schone, 2009. "Long-term care of the disabled elderly: do children increase caregiving by spouses?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 323-339, September.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14328

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  1. 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.
  2. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "Punishing free-riders: How group size affects mutual monitoring and the provision of public goods," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 31-51, July.
  3. Liliana E. Pezzin & Robert A. Pollak & Barbara S. Schone, 2007. "Efficiency in Family Bargaining: Living Arrangements and Caregiving Decisions of Adult Children and Disabled Elderly Parents," CESifo Working Paper Series 1908, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. McGarry, K. & Schoeni, R.F., 1995. "Transfer Behavior With the Family: Results from the Asset and Health Dynamics Survey," Papers 95-09, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  5. Steven Stern & Tennille J. Neuharth, 2000. "Shared Caregiving Responsibilities of Adult Siblings with Elderly Parents," Virginia Economics Online Papers 323, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Cox, Donald & Stark, Oded, 2005. "On the demand for grandchildren: tied transfers and the demonstration effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1665-1697, September.
  8. Cigno, Alessandro & Giannelli, Gianna Claudia & Rosati, Furio C. & Vuri, Daniela, 2004. "Is There Such a Thing as a Family Constitution? A Test Based on Credit Rationing," IZA Discussion Papers 1116, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
  10. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 2001. "Efficiency in Marriage," NBER Working Papers 8642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Liliana E. Pezzin & Barbara Steinberg Schone, 1999. "Intergenerational Household Formation, Female Labor Supply and Informal Caregiving: A Bargaining Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 475-503.
  12. Liliana Pezzin & Barbara Schone, 1999. "Parental marital disruption and intergenerational transfers: An analysis of lone elderly parents and their children," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 287-297, August.
  13. Stark,Oded, 1999. "Altruism and Beyond," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521663731, Fall.
  14. Pezzin, Liliana E & Schone, Barbara Steinberg, 1997. "The Allocation of Resources in Intergenerational Households: Adult Children and Their Elderly Parents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 460-64, May.
  15. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1994. "Noncooperative Bargaining Models of Marriage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 132-37, May.
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Cited by:
  1. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Grégory, . "The economics of long-term care: a survey," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2466, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Mónika López-Anuarbe, 2013. "Intergenerational transfers in long term care," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 235-258, June.
  3. Christine Ho, 2013. "Grandchild Care, Intergenerational Transfers, and Grandparents’ Labor Supply," Working Papers 06-2013, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  4. Viola Angelini & Anne Laferrère, 2013. "Parental altruism and nest leaving in Europe: evidence from a retrospective survey," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 393-420, September.

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