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Should We Care that They Care? Grandchild Care and Its Impact on Grandparent Health

Janina Reinkowski

No 165, ifo Working Paper Series from ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich

Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of occasional grandchild care on grandparent health using the pan-European dataset SHARE on elderly people. We find a small but statistically significant positive correlation between grandchild care and physical health, cognitive functioning and mental health. These relationships are robust to controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, social engagement, and intergenerational support. Using propensity score matching, we can show that the findings are also robust to the underlying functional form. To see whether they can be interpreted as causal, we exploit the panel character of the data and use an instrumental variable approach. Applying these methods, the effects seem to be smaller than the OLS correlations suggested.

Keywords: Grandparent health; grandchild care. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 J13 J14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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