Who Cares for Mom and Dad? Unpaid Caregiving and Labor Supply Among the Working-Age Population in Europe

Maria Stanfors, Lund University
Elisa Labbas , Lund University

Population ageing affects most European countries, pressurizing pension and care systems. This combination fuels demand for formal and informal care, implying that many, particularly women, are faced with dual responsibilities of paid work and unpaid caregiving. We study the relationship between unpaid caregiving for parents and labor supply (in terms of employment and work hours) among older adult men and women (40-65) across Europe. Data from the Survey of Health, Retirement, and Ageing in Europe (SHARE) 2004-2015 are analyzed through OLS and 2SLS estimations. We find regional variation in the association between unpaid caregiving and labor supply. Intensive caregiving among women is generally negatively associated with paid employment, though this is not the case for less intensive care. Care for an elderly parent impact both women’s and men’s labor supply negatively. Our findings indicate that more extensive social infrastructure for caring may diminish labor supply effects of intensive unpaid care.

See paper

 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions