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The Impact of Informal Caregiving Intensity on Women's Retirement in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Josephine Jacobs
  • Courtney Van Houtven
  • Audrey Laporte
  • Peter Coyte

Abstract

With increasing pressure on retirement-aged individuals to provide informal care while remaining in the workforce, it is important to understand the impact of informal care demands on individuals' retirement decisions. This paper explores whether different intensities of informal caregiving can lead to retirement for women in the United States. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Mature Women, we control for time-invariant heterogeneity and for time-varying sources of bias with a two-stage least squares model with fixed effects. We find that there is no significant effect on retirement for all informal caregivers, but there are important incremental effects of caregiving intensity. Women who provide at least 20 hours of informal care per week are 3 percentage points more likely to retire relative to other women. We also find that when unobserved heterogeneity is controlled for with fixed effects, we cannot reject exogeneity. These findings suggest that policies encouraging both informal care and later retirement may not be feasible without allowances for flexible scheduling or other supports for working caregivers.

Suggested Citation

  • Josephine Jacobs & Courtney Van Houtven & Audrey Laporte & Peter Coyte, 2014. "The Impact of Informal Caregiving Intensity on Women's Retirement in the United States," Working Papers 140008, Canadian Centre for Health Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cch:wpaper:140008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Informal caregiving; unpaid care; retirement; United States;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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