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Long-term care of the disabled elderly: do children increase caregiving by spouses?

  • Liliana Pezzin

    ()

  • Robert Pollak

    ()

  • Barbara Schone

    ()

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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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11150-009-9057-6
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economics of the Household.

Volume (Year): 7 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 323-339

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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:7:y:2009:i:3:p:323-339
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=109451

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  1. Liliana E. Pezzin & Robert A. Pollak & Barbara S. Schone, 2006. "Efficiency in Family Bargaining: Living Arrangements and Caregiving Decisions of Adult Children and Disabled Elderly Parents," NBER Working Papers 12358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Kathleen McGarry & Robert F. Schoeni, 1995. "Transfer Behavior within the Family: Results from the Asset and Health Dynamics Survey," NBER Working Papers 5099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Donald Cox & Oded Stark, 2007. "On the Demand for Grandchildren: Tied Transfers and the Demonstration Effect," Chapters, in: Handbook on the Economics of Happiness, chapter 18 Edward Elgar.
  6. 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.
  7. Shelly Lundberg & Robert Pollak, 2003. "Efficiency in Marriage," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 153-167, September.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Stark,Oded, 1999. "Altruism and Beyond," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521663731.
  11. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1994. "Noncooperative Bargaining Models of Marriage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 132-37, May.
  12. 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.
  13. Alessandro Cigno & Gianna Giannelli & Furio Rosati & Daniela Vuri, 2006. "Is there such a thing as a family constitution? A test based on credit rationing," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 183-204, 09.
  14. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
  15. Steven Stern & Bridget Hiedemann, 1999. "Strategic Play Among Family Members When Making Long-Term Care Decisions," Virginia Economics Online Papers 321, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
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