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The provision of informal childcare by European grandparents: constraints versus selective preferences


  • Joris Ghysels


This paper extends existing theories on parental time investment in children to a three generational setting and discusses identifiable restrictions of alternative explanations for grandparental help with childcare. It shows on data of 10 European countries (taken from the 2004 SHAREsurvey) that earlier empirical work may have mistakenly identified gender variation as an indication of non-altruistic behavior. In fact, grandparental choices can be explained as a response to varying constraints, for instance with regards to the disproportional care needs of lone parents or employed children experiencing rationing in the market for formal care services.

Suggested Citation

  • Joris Ghysels, 2011. "The provision of informal childcare by European grandparents: constraints versus selective preferences," Working Papers 1108, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  • Handle: RePEc:hdl:wpaper:1108

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Meta Brown, 2006. "Informal Care and the Division of End-of-Life Transfers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
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