The Impact of Informal Care Provision on the Caregiver Partner's Mental Health

Marie Blaise , BETA, Strasbourg University

Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we address how care provision by adult children affects the mental health of their partners. We control for the endogeneity due to the simultaneity of informal care provision and mental health issues with instrumental variables (IV) using the distance between respondents' and parents' households and the number of respondents' sisters as instruments. The results suggest that a higher intensity of care provided by the respondent to her own old-age parents leads to a smaller depression rate of her partner. In order to explain the positive impact of the informal care provision, we highlight two channels: the role of parental health and the follow-up depressive symptoms within the couple. We find that parental health has a negative impact on the partner's depression but does not conflate with the care effect. We control for the influence of caregiving on the respondents' mental health to understand whether spillover effects inside the couple exist. The results suggest that only men respondents and their partners are impacted by the caregiving activity in a similar way.

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 Presented in Session 55. Caregiving