Do they care too much to work? The influence of caregiving intensity on the labour force participation of unpaid caregivers in Canada
The recent growth of the home care sector combined with societal and demographic changes have given rise to concerns about the adequacy of the supply of family and friend caregivers. Potential caregivers face competing time pressures that pull them in the direction of the labour market on one hand, and towards unpaid caregiving duties on the other. This paper examines the influence of unpaid caregiving on the labour supply of a cohort of working-aged caregivers in Canada, with particular emphasis on caregiving intensity. Results suggest that caregivers are heterogeneous in both their caregiving inputs and associated labour market responses, thereby underscoring the importance of controlling for caregiving intensity when measuring labour supply. The negative influence of primary caregiving on labour supply appears to be at the level of labour force participation, rather than on hours of work or wages.
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