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

Author

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  • Janina Reinkowski

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of occasional grandchild care on grandparent health using the pan-European dataset SHARE on elderly people. We find a small but statistically significant positive correlation between grandchild care and physical health, cognitive functioning and mental health. These relationships are robust to controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, social engagement, and intergenerational support. Using propensity score matching, we can show that the findings are also robust to the underlying functional form. To see whether they can be interpreted as causal, we exploit the panel character of the data and use an instrumental variable approach. Applying these methods, the effects seem to be smaller than the OLS correlations suggested.

Suggested Citation

  • Janina Reinkowski, 2013. "Should We Care that They Care? Grandchild Care and Its Impact on Grandparent Health," ifo Working Paper Series 165, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_165
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/IfoWorkingPaper-165.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mette Ejrnæs & Claus C. Pörtner, 2004. "Birth Order and the Intrahousehold Allocation of Time and Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 1008-1019.
    2. Helmut Rainer & Thomas Siedler, 2009. "O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Effects of Having a Sibling on Geographic Mobility and Labour Market Outcomes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(303), pages 528-556, July.
    3. Gete, Pedro & Porchia, Paolo, 2010. "Fertility and Consumption when Having a Child is a Risky Investment," MPRA Paper 27885, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. 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 108-119.
    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. Cox, Donald & Rank, Mark R, 1992. "Inter-vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 305-314, May.
    7. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1999:89:9:1384-1389_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ralitza Dimova & François-Charles Wolff, 2011. "Do downward private transfers enhance maternal labor supply? Evidence from around Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 911-933, July.
    9. 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.
    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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    Cited by:

    1. P. Rupert & G. Zanella, 2014. "Grandchildren and Their Grandparents’ Labor Supply," Working Papers wp937, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    2. Rupert, Peter & Zanella, Giulio, 2017. "Grandchildren and Their Grandparents' Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 11235, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Christine Ho, 2015. "Grandchild care, intergenerational transfers, and grandparents’ labor supply," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 359-384, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Grandparent health; grandchild care.;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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