The Cyclicality of Informal Care

Tuesday, June 12, 2018: 3:50 PM
Starvine 1 - South Wing (Emory Conference Center Hotel)

Author(s): Corina Mommaerts; Yulya Truskinovsky

Discussant: Jennifer Mellor

This paper measures the cyclicality of a potentially important input into elderly well-being: informal care. Using independent survey measures of both informal caregiving and care receipt over the past three decades, we find that informal care is countercyclical: both informal caregiving and care receipt decrease during economic expansions. This effect is primarily driven by care provided by adult children to their parents, and is concentrated in help with chores, errands, and medication, rather than more intensive personal care. These findings suggest that informal health inputs may play an important role in the established pattern of procyclical elderly mortality.