Informal care may substitute for formal long‐term care that is often publicly funded or subsidized. The costs of informal caregiving are borne by the caregiver and may consist of worse health outcomes and, if the caregiver has not retired, worse labor market outcomes.We estimate the impact of providing informal care to one's partner on the caregiver's health using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe. We use statistical matching to deal with selection bias and endogeneity. We find that in the short run caregiving has a substantial effect on the health of caregivers and, for female caregivers, on their health care use. These effects should be taken into account when comparing the costs and benefits of formal and informal care provision. The health effects may, however, be short‐lived, as we do not find any evidence that they persist after 4 or 7 years.

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Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, Grant/Award Number: Optimal saving and insurance for old age: The role of public‐long tem care insurance.,
Health Economics
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

de Zwart, P., Bakx, P., & van Doorslaer, E. (2017). Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I'm 64?. Health Economics, 26(S2), 127–138. doi:10.1002/hec.3542