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Long-Term Care of the Disabled Elderly: Do Children Increase Caregiving by Spouses?

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  • Liliana E. Pezzin
  • Robert A. Pollak
  • Barbara S. Schone

Abstract

Do adult children affect the care elderly parents provide each other? We develop two models in which the anticipated behavior of adult children provides incentives for elderly parents to increase care for their disabled spouses. The "demonstration effect" postulates that adult children learn from a parent's example that family caregiving is appropriate behavior. The "punishment effect" postulates that adult children may punish parents who fail to provide spousal care by not providing future care for the nondisabled spouse when necessary. Thus, joint children act as a commitment mechanism, increasing the probability that elderly spouses will provide care for each other; stepchildren with weak attachments to their parents provide weaker incentives for spousal care than joint children. Using data from the HRS, we find evidence that spouses provide more care when they have children with strong parental attachment.

Suggested Citation

  • Liliana E. Pezzin & Robert A. Pollak & Barbara S. Schone, 2008. "Long-Term Care of the Disabled Elderly: Do Children Increase Caregiving by Spouses?," NBER Working Papers 14328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14328 Note: LS
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_609 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Mónika López-Anuarbe, 2013. "Intergenerational transfers in long term care," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 235-258, June.
    3. Marie-Louise Leroux & Grégory Ponthiere, 2016. "Nursing Home Choice, Family Bargaining and Optimal Policy in a Hotelling Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 5892, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Michelle Sovinsky & Steven Stern, 2016. "Dynamic modelling of long-term care decisions," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 463-488, June.
    5. Cheolsung Park, 2014. "Why do children transfer to their parents? Evidence from South Korea," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 461-485, September.
    6. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-01131236 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Gregory, 2016. "The Public Economics of Long Term Care," CORE Discussion Papers 2016008, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    8. Alessandro Cigno & Mizuki Komura & Annalisa Luporini, 2017. "Self-enforcing family rules, marriage and the (non)neutrality of public intervention," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(3), pages 805-834, July.
    9. Pestieau, Pierre & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2016. "Long-term care and births timing," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 340-357.
    10. Viola Angelini & Anne Laferrère, 2013. "Parental altruism and nest leaving in Europe: evidence from a retrospective survey," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 393-420, September.
    11. Christine Ho, 2015. "Grandchild care, intergenerational transfers, and grandparents’ labor supply," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 359-384, June.
    12. Adriaan Kalwij & Giacomo Pasini & Mingqin Wu, 2014. "Home care for the elderly: the role of relatives, friends and neighbors," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 379-404, June.
    13. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Grégory, 2012. "The economics of long-term care: a survey," CORE Discussion Papers 2012030, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    14. Cigno, A., 2016. "Conflict and Cooperation Within the Family, and Between the State and the Family, in the Provision of Old-Age Security," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
    15. Michio Yuda & Jinkook Lee, 2016. "Effects of Informal Caregivers' Health on Care Recipients," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 192-210, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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