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Time-Bound Opportunity Costs of Informal Care: Consequences for Access to Professional Care, Caregiver Support, and Labour Supply Estimates

  • Hassink, Wolter

    ()

    (Utrecht University)

  • van den Berg, Bernard

    ()

    (University of York)

Patterns of informal care are documented throughout the day with Dutch time use diary data. The diary data enable us to identify a, so far overlooked, source of opportunity costs of informal care, i.e. the necessity to perform particular tasks of informal care at specific moments of the day. Some care tasks are relatively unshiftable, while other tasks are shiftable implying that they can be performed at other moments of the day or even on different days. In particular, household and organization activities seem to be shiftable for employed caregivers, while personal care seems to contain unshiftable activities. This implies an additional opportunity cost of providing personal care tasks. As the care recipient’s need for care may be related to the possibility to shift informal care throughout the day, we conclude that one should be careful with using care need as an instrument of informal care in labour supply equations.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5433.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Social Science and Medicine, 2011, 73 (10), 1508-1516
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5433
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  1. Bernard Berg & Werner Brouwer & Marc Koopmanschap, 2004. "Economic valuation of informal care," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 36-45, February.
  2. van den Berg, Bernard & Hassink, Wolter H.J., 2008. "Cash benefits in long-term home care," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(2-3), pages 209-221, December.
  3. Norton, Edward C., 2000. "Long-term care," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 17, pages 955-994 Elsevier.
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  7. Riewpaiboon, Arthorn & Riewpaiboon, Wachara & Ponsoongnern, Kanyarat & Van den Berg, Bernard, 2009. "Economic valuation of informal care in Asia: A case study of care for disabled stroke survivors in Thailand," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 648-653, August.
  8. Heitmueller, Axel, 2007. "The chicken or the egg?: Endogeneity in labour market participation of informal carers in England," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 536-559, May.
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