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On insuring and caring for parents’ long-term care needs

  • Courbage, Christophe
  • Eeckhoudt, Louis

When adult children are financially responsible for their parents, they can take considerable interest in the amount of their parents’ long-term care (LTC) insurance. In this paper, we look at the optimal levels of LTC insurance and of informal care, and at the link between these two decisions when the child, who provides informal care, is also the decision-maker with regard to LTC insurance. Interestingly, results differ depending on the degree of both parental and child altruism and indicate either complementarity or substitutability between insurance and informal care. In particular, we show in the presence of child altruism that insurance stimulates the offer of informal care, contrary to the case where the insurance decision is made by the elderly parent. We also investigate how exogenous shocks with respect to the opportunity cost of informal care, initial wealth levels and bequests modify simultaneously the optimal level of insurance and informal care.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 842-850

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:842-850
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Bonsang, Eric, 2009. "Does informal care from children to their elderly parents substitute for formal care in Europe?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 143-154, January.
  2. Tian Zhou-Richter & Mark J. Browne & Helmut Gründl, 2010. "Don't They Care? Or, Are They Just Unaware? Risk Perception and the Demand for Long-Term Care Insurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 77(4), pages 715-747.
  3. Brown, Jeffrey R. & Finkelstein, Amy, 2007. "Why is the market for long-term care insurance so small?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(10), pages 1967-1991, November.
  4. K. Bolin & B. Lindgren & P. Lundborg, 2008. "Informal and formal care among single-living elderly in Europe," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 393-409.
  5. 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.
  6. Pauly, Mark V, 1990. "The Rational Nonpurchase of Long-term-Care Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 153-68, February.
  7. Christophe Courbage & Peter Zweifel, 2011. "Two-sided intergenerational moral hazard, long-term care insurance, and nursing home use," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 65-80, August.
  8. Christophe Courbage & Nolwenn Roudaut, 2008. "Empirical Evidence on Long-term Care Insurance Purchase in France*," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 33(4), pages 645-658, October.
  9. Zweifel, Peter & Struwe, Wolfram, 1996. "Long-Term Care Insurance and Bequests as Instruments for Shaping Intergenerational Relationships," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 65-76, January.
  10. Mellor, Jennifer M., 2001. "Long-term care and nursing home coverage: are adult children substitutes for insurance policies?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 527-547, July.
  11. Norton, Edward C., 2000. "Long-term care," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 17, pages 955-994 Elsevier.
  12. Denis Kessler, 2010. "Confronting the Challenge of Long-term Care in Europe," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 8(2), pages 18-23, 07.
  13. 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.
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