Should I Care or Should I Work? The Impact of Working in Older Age on Caregiving

Ludovico Carrino , King's College London
Vahé Nafilyan, King's College London
Mauricio Avendano, King's College London / Harvard University

While there is converging evidence that having informal carer responsibilities has an adverse effect of labour supply, far less is known about the effect of working longer on the informal supply of care to family and friends. In this paper, we explore whether prolonging working careers reduces the amount of help provided by women around the pensionable age (55-65 years old), which are a crucial source of informal caregiving in most advanced economies. Exploiting a major pension reform in the UK, we use eligibility to the State pension to overcome the endogeneity of labour supply decision. We find that working longer as result of not being eligible for State pension significantly reduces the time devoted to offer help outside the household. Our results suggest that policy makers should account for the unintended consequences on informal care supply when regulating labour markets and social and health services for older people.

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 Presented in Session 159. Family-Level Perspectives on Work and Care