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Should We Care that They Care? Grandchild Care and Its Impact on Grandparent Health

  • Janina Reinkowski

This paper investigates the impact of occasional grandchild care on grandparent healthusing the pan-European dataset SHARE on elderly people. We find a small but statisticallysignificant positive correlation between grandchild care and physical health, cognitivefunctioning and mental health. These relationships are robust to controlling for sociodemographiccharacteristics, social engagement, and intergenerational support. Usingpropensity score matching, we can show that the findings are also robust to the underlyingfunctional form. To see whether they can be interpreted as causal, we exploit the panelcharacter of the data and use an instrumental variable approach. Applying these methods,the effects seem to be smaller than the OLS correlations suggested.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-Ifo_Working_Papers/wp-ifo-2013/IfoWorkingPaper-165.pdf
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Paper provided by Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich in its series Ifo Working Paper Series with number Ifo Working Paper No. 165.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_165
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  1. Rainer, Helmut & Siedler, Thomas, 2005. "O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Effects of Having a Sibling on Geographic Mobility and Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 1842, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Mette Ejrnæs & Claus C. Pörtner, 2004. "Birth Order and the Intrahousehold Allocation of Time and Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 1008-1019, November.
  3. Mary Elizabeth Hughes & Linda J. Waite & Tracey A. LaPierre & Ye Luo, 2007. "All in the Family: The Impact of Caring for Grandchildren on Grandparents' Health," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 62(2), pages S108-S119.
  4. Ralitza Dimova & François-Charles Wolff, 2011. "Do downward private transfers enhance maternal labor supply? Evidence from around Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 911-933, July.
  5. Markus Frölich, 2004. "Finite-Sample Properties of Propensity-Score Matching and Weighting Estimators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 77-90, February.
  6. Li-Jung Ku & Sally Stearns & Courtney Houtven & George Holmes, 2012. "The health effects of caregiving by grandparents in Taiwan: an instrumental variable estimation," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 521-540, December.
  7. Giulio Zanella & Peter Rupert, 2011. "Grandparenting and Labor Supply," 2011 Meeting Papers 404, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Paolo Porchia & Pedro Gete, 2011. "Fertility and Consumption when Having a Child is a Risky Investment," 2011 Meeting Papers 563, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Cox, Donald & Rank, Mark R, 1992. "Inter-vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 305-14, May.
  10. Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2011. "Life Satisfaction and Grandparenthood: Evidence from a Nationwide Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 5869, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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