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2018 Conference Presentation

Informal care Slovenia

10 September 2018

Why are the older informal carers those of better health? Solving a causality problem

Mateja Nagode, Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenia

Andrej Srakar, Institute for Economic Research, Ljubljana and University of Ljubljana; Slovenia


Background: Informal care is a widespread and important segment of long-term care, which is carried out independently or in parallel with formal care, i.e. as a complement or replacement. That informal carers represent the backbone of long-term care is witnessed by numerous international studies and it is crucial to know to what extent informal care is currently being implemented, who are the ones that provide informal care under which conditions and for whom.

Objectives: In our article we focus on the relationship between health status of the respondent and decision and intensity of provided informal help to others. Interestingly, the correlation of (good) health and informal caregiving is negative, particularly for help provided within household.

Methods: We explain this relationship by examining the endogenous (reverse causal) relationship between the variables, using different measures of health and instrumental variables from Wave 5 and Wave 3 of SHARE Survey, and determine the causal effects of health on informal care, provided within and/or outside household. We also model the effect of various different covariates (e.g. welfare regime, social and material deprivation, cognitive abilities) on informal caregiving.

Results: In conclusion we provide an examination of research and policy relevance of the study.

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