Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #703

Does the Negative Effect of Caregiving on Work Persist over Time?

by Dörte Heger and Thorben Korfhage

RWI, 08/2017, 32 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-817-2 DOI: 10.4419/86788817



Informal caregivers provide valuable services to elderly persons with long-term care needs. However, the time commitment of caregiving often competes against time spent in the labour force. In addition to the momentary trade-off, long-term consequences are possible since especially older workers might find it difficult to re-enter the labour market after a caregiving spell. While several studies document a negative relationship between caregiving and work, little is known about whether this effect is persistent over time. Analysing a large panel data set of 15 European countries and Israel, we show that care provision to an elderly parent has lasting negative effects on employment for both men and women but only women reduce their working hours.

JEL-Classification: J14, J22

Keywords: Informal care; labour market outcomes; short and medium term effects