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

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

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.

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File URL: http://www.canadiancentreforhealtheconomics.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Jacobs-et-al.pdf
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Paper provided by Canadian Centre for Health Economics in its series Working Papers with number 140008.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2014
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published Online, April 2014
Handle: RePEc:cch:wpaper:140008
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  1. Annika Meng, 2012. "Informal Caregiving and the Retirement Decision," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(3), pages 307-330, 08.
  2. Heitmueller, Axel, 2004. "The Chicken or the Egg? Endogeneity in Labour Market Participation of Informal Carers in England," IZA Discussion Papers 1366, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Laura Crespo, 2006. "Caring For Parents And Employment Status Of European Mid-Life Women," Working Papers wp2006_0615, CEMFI.
  4. William G. Gale, 1998. "The Effects of Pensions on Household Wealth: A Reevaluation of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 706-723, August.
  5. Josephine Jacobs & Courtney Van Houtven & Audrey Laporte & Peter Coyte, 2014. "Baby Boomer caregivers in the workforce: Do they fare better or worse than their predecessors?," Working Papers 140001, Canadian Centre for Health Economics.
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  7. Lilly, Meredith B. & Laporte, Audrey & Coyte, Peter C., 2010. "Do they care too much to work? The influence of caregiving intensity on the labour force participation of unpaid caregivers in Canada," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 895-903, December.
  8. Blau, David M. & Riphahn, Regina T., 1998. "Labor Force Transitions of Older Married Couples in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 5, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. Thierry Debrand & Nicolas Sirven, 2009. "What are the Motivations of Pathways to Retirement in Europe: Individual, Familial, Professional Situation or Social Protection Systems?," Working Papers DT28, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Oct 2009.
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  13. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  14. Fiona Carmichael & Susan Charles, 2003. "Benefit payments, informal care and female labour supply," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(7), pages 411-415.
  15. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long, 2008. "The Relative Income Hypothesis," CIRANO Working Papers 2008s-18, CIRANO.
  16. Carmichael, Fiona & Charles, Susan, 2003. "The opportunity costs of informal care: does gender matter?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 781-803, September.
  17. Silvana Pozzebon & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1986. "Married Women's Retirement Behavior," NBER Working Papers 2104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Jacobs, Josephine C. & Laporte, Audrey & Van Houtven, Courtney H. & Coyte, Peter C., 2014. "Caregiving intensity and retirement status in Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 74-82.
  19. Mark Y. An & Bent Jesper Christensen & Nabanita Datta Gupta, 2004. "Multivariate mixed proportional hazard modelling of the joint retirement of married couples," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 687-704.
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