nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2013‒06‒04
25 papers chosen by
Clarence Nkengne Tsimpo
University of Montreal and World Bank Group

  1. The Design and Implementation of Public Pension Systems in Developing Countries: Issues and Options By Bloom, David E.; McKinnon, Roddy
  2. Recent features of cohabitational and marital fertility in Romania By Jan M. Hoem; Cornelia Muresan; Mihaela Haragus
  3. "The Economic Crisis of 2008 and the Added Worker Effect in Transition Countries" By Tamar Khitarishvili
  4. The Importance of Fertility Norms: New Evidence from France By Bastien CHABE-FERRET
  5. Socioeconomic Characteristics, Fertility Norms and the Black-White Fertility Gap in the US By Bastien CHABE-FERRET
  6. Fathers' use of parental leave. What do we know? By Zhelyazkova, Nevena
  7. Financial sophistication in the older population By Lusardi, Annamaria; Mitchell, Olivia S.; Curto, Vilsa
  8. Effects of Social Security Policies on Benefit Claiming, Retirement and Saving By Alan L. Gustman; Thomas L. Steinmeier
  9. Do babysitters have more kids? The effects of teenage work experiences on adult outcomes By Zeynep Erdogan; Joyce P. Jacobsen; Peter Kooreman
  10. Retirement Incentives and Couples? Labour Supply Decisions By Bernardo Queiroz; Laetícia Rodrigues de Souza
  11. Gender Differences in the Effects of Behavioral Problems on School Outcomes By Kristoffersen, Jannie H. G.; Smith, Nina
  12. Explaining Cross-Racial Differences in the Educational Gender Gap By Esteban Aucejo
  13. Couple?s Behaviour in the Brazilian Labour Market: the Influence of Social Security and Individual Characteristics on Married Individuals? Labour Supply Decisions By Bernardo Queiroz; Laetícia Rodrigues de Souza
  14. Is Timing Everything? Disability Onset of Youth and Their Outcomes as Young Adults. By David R. Mann; Todd C. Honeycutt
  15. Wages of childhood immigrants in Sweden – education, returns to education and overeducation By Katz, Katarina; Österberg, Torun
  16. Disparities in Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened and Other Beverages by Race/Ethnicity and Obesity Status Among United States Schoolchildren. By Allison Hedley Dodd; Ronette Briefel; Charlotte Cabili; er Wilson; Mary Kay Crepinsek
  17. Immigrant Assimilation into U.S. Prisons, 1900-1930 By Carolyn M. Moehling; Anne Morrison Piehl
  18. Cross-Country MODA Study: Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA). Technical Note By Chris De Neubourg; Jingqing Chai; Marlous de Milliano; Ilze Plavgo; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
  19. Gender Differences in the Effects of Vocational Training: Constraints on Women and Drop-Out Behavior By Cho, Yoon Y.; Kalomba, Davie; Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq; Orozco, Victor
  20. The dangers of conditioning on the time of occurrence of one demographic process in the analysis of another By Jan M. Hoem
  21. Internalized Gender Stereotypes Vary across Socioeconomic Indicators By Julia Dietrich; Konrad Schnabel; Tuulia Ortner; Alice Eagly; Rocio Garcia-Retamero; Lea Kröger; Elke Holst
  22. Closing the Gender Gap: What Would It Take? By Joyce P. Jacobsen
  23. Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life? By Kalb, G.; Ours, J.C. van
  24. Causes of health inequalities in Uganda: Evidence from the demographic and health surveys By Ssewanyana, Sarah; Kasirye, Ibrahim
  25. The quality of life of female informal caregivers: from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean Sea By Cinzia Di Novi; Rowena Jacobs; Matteo Migheli

  1. By: Bloom, David E. (Harvard University); McKinnon, Roddy (International Social Security Association)
    Abstract: Developing countries are increasingly aware of the need to design and implement improvements in public systems for providing pensions to the elderly. Such systems may aim to smooth consumption and thus provide reliable income to older people, reduce poverty among the elderly, insure those no longer working against the risk of running out of funds, and promote equal treatment of men and women in retirement security even when lifetime earnings and projected average life expectancy may differ greatly. The increasing share of the elderly in the population of all countries makes implementation of sustainable pension systems both more urgent and more difficult. Planners must consider numerous options in pension system design and choose the combination of policies that will optimize coverage, benefits, and financing given a country's demographics, history, practices regarding family support of the elderly, political system, extent of informal labour, and fiscal situation.
    Keywords: pension systems, aging, retirement, life expectancy
    JEL: J14 J26 J11 J18
    Date: 2013–05
  2. By: Jan M. Hoem (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Cornelia Muresan (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Mihaela Haragus
    Abstract: Until the late 1980s there was little non-marital cohabitation in Romania; time in consensual unions constituted only a few per cent of the total time spent in unions every year. After the fall of state socialism, the overall fraction in consensual unions grew steadily, and by 2005 it had reached some ten per cent. This development had consequences for the patterns of childbearing. The purpose of the present paper is to display selected features of fertility in consensual and marital unions in Romania over the period 1985-2005 based on the data from the national Generations and Gender Survey of 2005. To this end we use underlying fertility rates specified by union duration and utilize a metric based on an aggregation of such rates over all durations, irrespective of parity. We also highlight groups of women who have been particularly prone to have children outside marriage. This turns out to be women with a low educational attainment and women of a rural origin. Women in consensual unions in these two groups were especially strongly affected by the dramatic changes in family policies around 1990, and their aggregate fertility in cohabitational unions in subsequent years is largely of the same size order as in marital unions. For the fertility of partnered women in the two groups it does not seem to matter much whether they are married.
    Keywords: Romania, event history analysis, fertility, fertility rate, premarital cohabitation
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2013–05
  3. By: Tamar Khitarishvili
    Abstract: Following the financial crisis of 2008, transition countries experienced an increase in female labor force participation rates and a decrease in male labor force participation rates, in part because male-dominated sectors were hit the hardest. These developments have prompted many to argue that women have been spared the full-blown effects of the crisis. In this paper, we critically evaluate this claim by investigating the extent to which the increase in the female labor force participation rate may have reflected a distress labor supply response to the crisis. We use the data on the 28 countries of the transition region assessed in the 2010 Life in Transition Survey. We find the presence of the female added worker effect, driven by married 45- to 54-year-old women with no children in the household. This effect is the strongest among the region's middle-income countries. Among men, a negative relationship between labor force participation and household-specific income shocks is indicated. Unlike the differences in the response to household-specific income shocks, the labor supply response to a weaker macroeconomic environment is negative for both men and women—hinting at the presence of the "discouraged worker" effect, which cuts across gender lines. We conclude that the decrease in men's labor force participation observed during this crisis is likely a combined result of the initial sectoral contraction and the subsequent impact of the discouraged worker effect. For women, on the other hand, the added worker effect appears to outweigh the discouraged worker effect, contributing to an increase in their labor force participation rate. Our findings highlight the presence of heterogeneity in the way in which household-specific shocks, as opposed to economy-wide conditions, affect both female and male labor force participation rates.
    Keywords: Gender Economics; Economic Crisis; Added Worker Effect; Labor Supply Response; Labor Force Participation; Central and Eastern Europe; Former Soviet Union; Transition Countries
    JEL: J16 J21 P20
    Date: 2013–05
  4. By: Bastien CHABE-FERRET (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: I enrich the findings according to which cultural proxies such as past total fertility rates in the country of origin or number of siblings have a sizable effect on the fertility choice of second generation migrants. I use the TeO survey that interviewed individuals established in France from different origins to investigate whether the effect of fertility norms fades away with assimilation in the host country. In particular I find that women who are in a relationship with a non-native, who were born to two migrant parents and whose family has settled in France more recently are more sensitive to the norm. Still, a significant effect of past fertility rates resists the introduction of many controls like characteristics of partners and religion, though with a smaller magnitude. Finally, by using a duration model, I document that the fertility norm has a positive effect on the hazard rate to have a third child but not for previous birth orders, which suggests some other determinants of fertility dominate for earlier births.
    Keywords: Fertility - Norms - Duration - Birth spacing
    Date: 2013–05–17
  5. By: Bastien CHABE-FERRET (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: In this article, I examine the large Black / White fertility gap in the US. I question the "compositional argument" according to which differences in socioeconomic characteristics would be the main driver of this gap. Indeed, once controlled for education, other characteristics such as income, employment and marital status do not help to close the gap. I therefore test whether the difference could stem from the fact that individuals inherit of race-specic fertility norms. I show that Black women who were born in a state where past cohorts of Black women had a high fertility rate tend to have more children. Moreover I have found that this effect diminishes as education increases. The transmission of fertility norms therefore seems to be a good candidate to explain racial differences in fertility in the US, as it is consistent with larger differences for less educated individuals.
    Keywords: Fertility - Childlessness - Race - Norms - Education
    Date: 2013–05–17
  6. By: Zhelyazkova, Nevena (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the the literature on fathers' use of parental leave. Parental leave is a work-life reconciliation instrument with great potential to bring about a more equal distribution of paid and unpaid work between men and women. However, policy evaluation studies reveal that simply making parental leave available to men as an option does not lead to a marked increase in the number of male users. There is evidence that incentives in the policy design, such as earmarking part of the paid parental leave only for men on a use-it-or-lose-it basis, can raise the number of male users. Still, this evidence comes primarily from the Scandinavian context and the question whether such outcomes could be replicated in other countries remains open. Theoretical understanding of male use of parental leave is usually based on multidisciplinary frameworks. The economic theories typically focus on the relative resources in the family and there seems to be an absence of an integrated framework for analysis at the individual level. Several empirical studies provide support for the importance of the difference in a parenting couple's earnings for fathers' use of parental leave. Socio-economic characteristics, such as age, individual income, education, marital status, and number of other children, can also play a role in the decision of men to take leave. Situational factors, such as the sector of employment, or the size of the enterprize are similarly important.
    Keywords: work-family reconciliation, parental leave, fatherhood
    JEL: J13 J16
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Lusardi, Annamaria; Mitchell, Olivia S.; Curto, Vilsa
    Abstract: This paper examines data on financial sophistication among the U.S. older population, using a special-purpose module implemented in the Health and Retirement Study. We show that financial sophistication is deficient for older respondents (aged 55+). Specifically, many in this group lack a basic grasp of asset pricing, risk diversification, portfolio choice, and investment fees. Subpopulations with particular deficits include women, the least educated, persons over the age of 75, and non-Whites. In view of the fact that people are increasingly being asked to take on responsibility for their own retirement security, such lack of knowledge can have serious implications. --
    Keywords: Financial Knowledge,Older Population,Question Framing,Male and Female Differences,Retirement Security
    JEL: D91 G11
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Alan L. Gustman; Thomas L. Steinmeier
    Abstract: An enhanced version of a structural model jointly explains benefit claiming, wealth and retirement, including reversals from states of lesser to greater work. The model includes stochastic returns on assets. Estimated with Health and Retirement Study data, it does a better job of predicting claiming than previous versions. Alternative beliefs about the future of Social Security affect predicted outcomes. Effects of three potential policies are also examined: increasing the early entitlement age, increasing the full retirement age, and eliminating the payroll tax for seniors. Predicted responses to increasing the full entitlement age are sensitive to beliefs.
    JEL: C61 D31 D91 E21 H55 J14 J26 J32
    Date: 2013–05
  9. By: Zeynep Erdogan (Tilburg University); Joyce P. Jacobsen (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University); Peter Kooreman (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: If the type of work undertaken while young affects either development of human capital or preferences, then early work experiences may have measurable effects on later life outcomes. This paper examines whether or not having a job as a teenager, and whether or not it is a childoriented job, causes differences in labor market behavior among young adults. While the effects we find are complex and sometimes hard to interpret, they suggest that work in 10th grade has a positive causal effect on later labor market outcomes and delays family formation, but to a lesser extent when jobs were child-oriented.
    Date: 2012–09
  10. By: Bernardo Queiroz (Cedeplar/UFMG); Laetícia Rodrigues de Souza (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: The Brazilian population has been showing signs of major changes in the past few decades. According to the United Nations, the average age of the population in Brazil is projected to be 47.5 years by 2050, compared to 19.2 years in 1950. The length of working life has fallen over time, due to both increases in educational attainment (thus fewer younger workers) and changes in retirement behaviour (fewer older workers). In addition, it is argued that the rules and regulations of the provision of social security benefits affect older workers? retirement decisions (Wise, 2004). The combination of these three elements increases the concern for the sustainability of public social support programmes for elderly people. (?)
    Keywords: Retirement Incentives and Couples? Labour Supply Decisions
    Date: 2013–04
  11. By: Kristoffersen, Jannie H. G. (Aarhus University); Smith, Nina (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: Behavioral problems are important determinants of school outcomes and later success in the labor market. We analyze whether behavioral problems affect girls and boys differently with respect to school outcomes. The study is based on teacher and parent evaluations of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) of about 6,000 children born in 1990-92 in a large region in Denmark. The sample is merged with register information on parents and students observed until the age of 19. We find significant and large negative coefficients of the externalizing behavioral indicators. The effects tend to be larger when based on parents' SDQ scores compared to teachers' SDQ scores. According to our estimations, the school outcomes for girls with abnormal externalizing behavior are not significantly different from those of boys with the same behavioral problems. A decomposition of the estimates indicates that most of the gender differences in Reading and Math cannot be related to gender differences in behavioral problems. The large overall gender gap in Reading seems mainly to be the result of gender differences between children without behavioral problems living in 'normal families', i.e. families which are not categorized as low-resource families.
    Keywords: gender differences, education, behavior
    JEL: J16 I29 I19
    Date: 2013–05
  12. By: Esteban Aucejo
    Abstract: The sizable gender gap in college enrolment, especially among African Americans, constitutes a puzzling empirical regularity that may have serious consequences on marriage markets, male labor force participation and the diversity of college campuses. For instance, only 35.7 percent of all African American undergraduate students were men in 2004. Reduced form results show that, while family background covariates cannot account for the observed gap, proxy measures for non-cognitive skills are crucial to explain it. Moreover, a sequential model of educational attainment indicates that males have actually higher preferences for education than females after controlling for latent factors (i.e. cognitive and non-cognitive skills). The model also shows that cognitive skills strongly affect the decision to move from one school level to the next, especially after finishing high school, but cannot account for disparities between genders. On the contrary, the substantial differences in the distribution of non-cognitive skills between males and females make these abilities critical to explain the gender gap in educational attainment across and within races.
    Keywords: Gender Gap, College Enrollment, Non-cognitive Skills, Cognitive Skills, Race
    JEL: I2 J15 J16
    Date: 2013–05
  13. By: Bernardo Queiroz (Cedeplar/UFMG); Laetícia Rodrigues de Souza (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: In recent years, a large number of studies have investigated the relationship between social security benefits and male retirement decisions in developed countries. However, women?s and couples? labour supply decisions and the patterns of withdrawal from the labour force in emerging economies are much less studied. This paper uses Brazilian data from 1998 to 2008 to examine how social security financial incentives and personal characteristics affects one?s own and spouses? retirement decisions. Our results suggested that couples synchronize retirement and that they respond similarly to their own characteristics. We also find that wives are more responsive to husbands? incentives than vice-versa. (?)
    Keywords: Couple?s Behaviour in the Brazilian Labour Market: the Influence of Social Security and Individual Characteristics on Married Individuals? Labour Supp
    Date: 2013–04
  14. By: David R. Mann; Todd C. Honeycutt
    Keywords: Transition-Age Youth, disability onset, employment, Education
    JEL: I J
    Date: 2013–04–24
  15. By: Katz, Katarina (Karlstad university); Österberg, Torun (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: We analyse full-time monthly wages of employees with parents born in Sweden and of childhood immigrants who arrived before the end of compulsory school-age. We use a detailed disaggregation of background countries, which shows considerable hetero-geneity, in overeducation, in returns to education and in birth-country coefficients, unexplained by wage models. Both the non-European childhood immigrants and of those from Southern Europe suffer a wage disadvantage relative to natives, men to a larger extent than women. Returns to education are generally lower for non-European childhood immigrants than for natives. Comparison with workers, who immigrated as adults, shows that the childhood immigrants of most nationalities run lower risk of being overeducated and have a smaller wage disadvantage. The child/adult immigrant difference is larger, the larger the disadvantage of the adult immigrants from a country of origin. But for male childhood immigrants from some of the labour transmitter countries, the risk of overeducation is larger than it is for adult immigrants and the difference in adjusted wages between childhood immigrants and adult immigrants also tends to be smaller than for other countries of origin.
    Keywords: Wages; immigrants; childhood immigrants; returns to education; overeducation
    JEL: I24 J15 J31 J61
    Date: 2013–04–04
  16. By: Allison Hedley Dodd; Ronette Briefel; Charlotte Cabili; er Wilson; Mary Kay Crepinsek
    Keywords: child, overweight, sugar-sweetened beverages, racial/ethnic disparities
    JEL: I0 I1
    Date: 2013–05–30
  17. By: Carolyn M. Moehling; Anne Morrison Piehl
    Abstract: The analysis of a new dataset on state prisoners in the 1900 to 1930 censuses reveals that immigrants rapidly assimilated to native incarceration patterns. One feature of these data is that the second generation can be identified, allowing direct analysis of this group and allowing their exclusion from calculations of comparison rates for the “native” population. Although adult new arrivals were less likely than natives to be incarcerated, this likelihood was increasing with their years in the U.S. The foreign born who arrived as children and second generation immigrants had slightly higher rates of incarceration than natives of native parentage, but these differences disappear after controlling for nativity differences in urbanicity and occupational status. Finally, while the incarceration rates of new arrivals differ significantly by source country, patterns of assimilation are very similar.
    JEL: J15 K42 N32
    Date: 2013–05
  18. By: Chris De Neubourg; Jingqing Chai; Marlous de Milliano; Ilze Plavgo; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) is a methodology developed by UNICEF which provides a comprehensive approach to the multidimensional aspects of child poverty and deprivation. MODA builds on earlier multidimensional poverty studies and encompasses a large set of tools ranging from deprivation headcounts in single dimensions via multiple overlap analysis to multidimensional deprivation ratios and their decomposition. The MODA methodology places the child at the heart of the analysis and concentrates on those aspects of well-being that are relevant for the children at particular stages of their lives. Moreover, the analysis indicates which deprivations children experience simultaneously.
    Keywords: child well-being; comparative analysis; poverty;
    JEL: I31 I32 J10
    Date: 2013
  19. By: Cho, Yoon Y. (World Bank); Kalomba, Davie (Malawi National AIDS Commission); Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq (Yale University); Orozco, Victor (World Bank)
    Abstract: We provide experimental evidence on the effects of vocational and entrepreneurial training for Malawian youth, in an environment where access to schooling and formal sector employment is extremely low. We track a large fraction of program drop-outs – a common phenomenon in the training evaluation literature – and this allows us to examine the determinants and consequences of drop-out and how it mediates the effects of such programs. We find that women make decisions in a more constrained environment, and their participation affected by family obligations. Participation is more expensive for them, resulting in worse training experience. The training results in skills development, continued investment in human capital, and improved well-being, with more positive effects for men, but no improvements in labor market outcomes in the short run.
    Keywords: apprenticeship training, vulnerable youth, gender, drop-outs, Malawi
    JEL: O15 J24 I15
    Date: 2013–05
  20. By: Jan M. Hoem (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Demographers and others often study the interaction between two types of individual-level behaviour, such as migration and childbearing. Unfortunately, one can get estimation bias if one compares childbearing before and after migration from data confined to migrants, say, as is sometimes done to see whether international migration disrupts fertility. Similar issues can arise in comparisons of union formation before and after first birth, marriage formation before and after home purchase, as well as in other comparisons of behaviour before and after an index event if one confines the study only to those who have experienced the index event. We point out that if one does this, then the study of behaviour before the index event actually conditions on the later arrival of the index event. This amounts to anticipatory analysis, which normally produces an estimation bias. In this paper we discuss this issue, provide a mathematical and graphical representation of it, and show how one can avoid estimation bias and get a meaningful (unconditional) comparison of behaviour before and after the index event provided the data contain enough information for both sub-periods.
    Keywords: childbearing, event history analysis, marriage, migration
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2013–05
  21. By: Julia Dietrich; Konrad Schnabel; Tuulia Ortner; Alice Eagly; Rocio Garcia-Retamero; Lea Kröger; Elke Holst
    Abstract: In the following we aim to approach the question of why, in most domains of professional and economic life, women are more vulnerable than men to becoming targets of prejudice and discrimination by proposing that one important cause of this inequality is the presence of gender stereotypes in many domains of society. We describe two approaches employed to measure gender stereotypes: An explicit questionnaire based on rating scales and a newly developed Implicit Association Test assessing gender stereotypes representing instrumentality (i.e., agency) and expressivity (i.e., communion). We first present information on psychometric properties of each stereotype measure designed for this purpose. We then present preliminary data based on the SOEP Innovation Sample 2011 indicating differences in explicit stereotypes with reference to occupational position and income. Implicit stereotypic associations concerning expressivity increased with respondents’ age, stereotypic associations concerning instrumentality increased with household income, particularly among male participants. Finally, stereotypic associations were related simultaneously to occupational position and participants’ gender, such that differences between male and female participants were found in lower occupational positions for the Expressivity IAT and in higher occupational positions for the Instrumentality IAT. This finding indicates that individually held gender stereotypes are related to socioeconomic and social variables.<br />
    Keywords: Stereotypes, Gender, explicit, implicit, IAT, SOEP-IS
    Date: 2013
  22. By: Joyce P. Jacobsen (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University)
    Date: 2012–01
  23. By: Kalb, G.; Ours, J.C. van (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Abstract: This paper investigates the importance of parents reading to their young children. Using Australian data we find that parental reading to children at age 4 to 5 has positive and significant effects on reading skills and cognitive skills of these children at least up to age 10 or 11. Our findings are robust to a wide range of sensitivity analyses.
    Keywords: Reading to children;reading skills;other cognitive skills.
    JEL: C26 I21 J24
    Date: 2013
  24. By: Ssewanyana, Sarah; Kasirye, Ibrahim
    Abstract: Despite sustained macroeconomic growth and impressive income poverty reduction in Uganda, the country’s total child nutrition status remains poor. More so, wide within country disparities in stunting and underweight rates exist across the country. This study exploredthe determinants of child nutrition status and in Uganda using three rounds of the Uganda demographic and health surveys undertaken during 1995–2006.The surveys are nationally representative and capture anthropometric indicators for children aged below 5 years. The study investigated the determinants of health inequalities focusing on child health status through a combination of decomposition and regression analysis. Our results show that household welfare status remains a key determinant of child health status and inequalities in health. Furthermore, the results show that individual maternal education matters more in enhancing child health than does community knowledge about health.
    Keywords: Health, EPRC, Ssewanyana, Poverty reduction, Child nutrition, maternal education, welfare, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Health Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2012
  25. By: Cinzia Di Novi (Dipartimento di Economia, Università Ca' Foscari, Venezia, Italy); Rowena Jacobs (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK); Matteo Migheli (Dipartimento di Economia "S. Cognetti De Martiis", Università di Torino, Italy)
    Abstract: We analyse the impact of the provision of care on the health and quality of life (QoL) of mature female informal caregivers using a representative sample drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). We match each informal caregiver with a non-carer using Propensity Score matching and test whether matched individuals differ on self-assessed health and a functional indicator of QoL and whether this relationship differs across European regions. We find a North-South gradient both for self-assessed health and QoL and our results show that the provision of caregiving to close relatives in Europe impacts on the caregivers’ quality of life and health in a way that depends on their geographical location, the degree of formal care and specific cultural and social factors of the area. We find that informal caregiving is a complex phenomenon which may bring both psychological rewards and distress to providers of care and this complexity, along with the geographical gradient highlight the importance of ensuring that policies match the needs of individual carers in their own geographical areas and cultural contexts.
    Keywords: informal caregiving; quality of life; self-assessed health; Europe
    JEL: I10 I12 D10
    Date: 2013–05

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