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Caring for Parents and Employment Status of European Mid-Life Women

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  • Laura Crespo

Abstract

In this paper we estimate the causal effect of providing “intensive” informal care to elderly parents on labour market participation decisions for European women who are themselves approaching retirement. In particular, we consider the frequency or intensity of this help and we focus on informal care provided in a daily or weekly basis. We use two different but comparable samples drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) that provide complementary detailed information about daughters and parents. We obtain evidence about this question for two groups of European countries that strongly differ in terms of informal caregiving intensity within the immediate family and the use of formal care: the northern countries (Sweden, Denmark and The Netherlands), and the southern countries (Spain, Italy and Greece). The results show that the estimated effect of providing “intensive” informal care to elderly parents on the probability of labour participation is negative and large for both groups of countries. Furthermore, a substantially stronger effect is found when the “intensive” caregiving variable is treated as endogenous in the labour participation equation. This shows that the potential opportunity costs in terms of (reduced) employment associated with the provision of informal care by women are seriously underestimated under the exogeneity assumption of the caregiving regressor.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Crespo, 2006. "Caring for Parents and Employment Status of European Mid-Life Women," Working Papers wp2006_0615, CEMFI.
  • Handle: RePEc:cmf:wpaper:wp2006_0615
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Madden, D. & Walker, I., 1999. "Labour Supply, Health and Caring: Evidence from the UK," Papers 99/28, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
    3. Stephane Jacobzone, 1999. "Ageing and Care for Frail Elderly Persons: An Overview of International Perspectives," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 38, OECD Publishing.
    4. 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.
    5. Eric Bonsang, 2007. "How do middle-aged children allocate time and money transfers to their older parents in Europe?," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 171-188, April.
    6. David Byrne & Michelle S. Goeree & Bridget Hiedemann & Steven Stern, 2009. "Formal Home Health Care, Informal Care, And Family Decision Making," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1205-1242, November.
    7. Manuel Arellano & Costas Meghir, 1992. "Female Labour Supply and On-the-Job Search: An Empirical Model Estimated Using Complementary Data Sets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 537-559.
    8. Carrasco, Raquel, 2001. "Binary Choice with Binary Endogenous Regressors in Panel Data: Estimating the Effect of Fertility on Female Labor Participation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(4), pages 385-394, October.
    9. Ariza, Alfredo & De la Rica Goiricelaya, Sara & Ugidos Olazabal, Arantza, 2003. "The effect of flexibility in working hours on fertility: A comparative analysis of selected european countries," DFAEII Working Papers 2003-08, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    10. Heitmueller, Axel & Michaud, Pierre-Carl, 2006. "Informal Care and Employment in England: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 2010, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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