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Doubling Up: A Gift or a Shame? Multigenerational Households and Parental Depression of Older Europeans

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  • Luis Aranda

    () (Department of Economics, University Of Venice C� Foscari)

Abstract

The Great Recession has brought along a rearrangement of living patterns both in the U.S. and in Europe. This study seeks to identify the consequences of the �doubling up� of two or more generations of adults into the same household. In particular, a difference-in-difference (DID) propensity score matching approach is employed to target the causal effect of a change in geographical closeness of respondents and their children �either moving together (doubling up) or apart (splitting up)� on the well-being of the older generation, proxied by their depression score. We find that, although heterogeneous across European regions, in no case does doubling up pose a negative effect to the quality of life of older Europeans. The opposite is true for central and southern Europe, where a double up seems to be followed by a significant reduction in the depression level of the older generation. Our results highlight that, although a negative connotation has usually been attached to multigenerational living arrangements in the post-WWII era, its benefits are evident and, in a time marked by increasing demographic aging, can lead to significant improvements in the quality of life of older Europeans.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Aranda, 2013. "Doubling Up: A Gift or a Shame? Multigenerational Households and Parental Depression of Older Europeans," Working Papers 2013:29, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari", revised 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2013:29
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Doubling up; Depression; Aging; Difference-in-differences; Matching estimator;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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