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Informal care in England and Spain: How do England and Spain care for older people?


  • Aïda Solé-Auró

    () (RFA-IREA, Department of Econometrics, Statistics and Spanish Economy)

  • Sandy Tubeuf

    (Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds)

  • Claire Hulme

    (Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds)


Within Europe, and similarly the rest of the developed world, the increase in life expectancy over the last few decades and associated incremental health problems is raising the importance of informal care. A decrease in births, greater geographical distances between family members and the involvement of women in the labour force imply that, even if informal carers are needed, they are less available. If we add shortages in both financial and human resources for attending to the older population, it is evident that the lack of informal carers linked to high demand poses a wide challenge for social systems and policies responsible for the older population. Recent legislation in England and Spain has been put in place to support informal carers and provide formal care for older people, yet take up of services differs markedly between countries. In this commentary we focus on comparison of informal care in England and Spain. To illustrate our discussion we use figures from the recent publication on long-term care in Europe

Suggested Citation

  • Aïda Solé-Auró & Sandy Tubeuf & Claire Hulme, 2010. "Informal care in England and Spain: How do England and Spain care for older people?," Working Papers 1003, Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds.
  • Handle: RePEc:lee:wpaper:1003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman, 2004. "Explaining the differences in income-related health inequalities across European countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 609-628.
    2. Ann Lecluyse & Irina Cleemput, 2006. "Making health continuous: implications of different methods on the measurement of inequality," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 99-104.
    3. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & Bleichrodt, Han & Calonge, Samuel & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna & Hakkinen, Unto & Leu, Robert E., 1997. "Income-related inequalities in health: some international comparisons," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 93-112, February.
    4. Van Ourti, Tom, 2003. "Socio-economic inequality in ill-health amongst the elderly: Should one use current or permanent income?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 219-241, March.
    5. Hendrik Jürges, 2007. "True health vs response styles: exploring cross-country differences in self-reported health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 163-178.
    6. repec:adr:anecst:y:2006:i:83-84:p:04 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Olsen, Karen M. & Dahl, Svenn-Åge, 2007. "Health differences between European countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(8), pages 1665-1678, April.
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    informal care; older people;


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