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Informal care and the great recession

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  • Costa-i-Font, Joan
  • Karlsson, Martin
  • Øien, Henning

Abstract

Macroeconomic downturns can have both an important impact on the availability of informal care and the affordability of formal long-term care. This paper investigates how the demand for and provision of informal care changed during and after the Great Recession in Europe. We use data from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), which includes a rich set of variables covering waves before and after the Great Recession. We find evidence of an increase in the availability of informal care and a reduction in the use of formal health services (doctor visits and hospital stays) after the economic downturn when controlling for year and country fixed effects. This trend is mainly driven by changes in care provision of individuals not cohabiting with the care recipient. We also find a small negative association between old-age health (measured be the number of problems with activities of daily living) and crisis severity. The results are robust to the inclusion of individual characteristics, individual-specific effects and region-specific time trends.

Suggested Citation

  • Costa-i-Font, Joan & Karlsson, Martin & Øien, Henning, 2015. "Informal care and the great recession," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 62606, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:62606
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    Cited by:

    1. Clarke, Damian & Mühlrad, Hanna, 2016. "The Impact of Abortion Legalization on Fertility and Maternal Mortality: New Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers in Economics 661, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Yu Aoki & Lualhati Santiago, 2015. "Fertility, Health and Education of UK Immigrants: The Role of English Language Skills," CINCH Working Paper Series 1510, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health, revised Aug 2015.
    3. Carbone, Jared C. & Kverndokk, Snorre, 2014. "Individual investments in education and health," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2014:1, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.

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    Keywords

    Long-term care; informal care; great recession; downturn; old age dependency;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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