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

  • Luis Aranda

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)

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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.unive.it/media/allegato/DIP/Economia/Working_papers/Working_papers_2013/WP_DSE_aranda_29_13.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2013
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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari" in its series Working Papers with number 2013:29.

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    Length: 61
    Date of creation: 2013
    Date of revision: 2013
    Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2013:29
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