Socioeconomic Differences in Care Provision in Europe

Nekehia Tamara Quashie , Technical University of Dortmund
Melanie Wagner, Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy
Ellen Verbakel, Radboud University
Christian Deindl, Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf

Objectives: This study examines the association between socioeconomic status and informal care provision within the household. We also examine two aspects of the societal context, country income level and the generosity of the welfare state towards families, to identify how macro-level social inequality differentially shapes individual-level socioeconomic inequalities in informal care provision. Method: Using pooled data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE, waves 1 to 6) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA, waves 3,4,6 and 7), poisson regression models estimate the associations between household socioeconomic status (education, income, and wealth), country social inequality (level of income and welfare support to families), and the likelihood of older adults’ informal care provision within the household, overall, and to their partners. Results: Higher household education and wealth are negatively associated with care provision within the household, whereas lower and higher income (as compared to middle income) is positively associated with caregiving. Regarding partner caregiving, education does not have a significant effect, and poor and less wealthy older adults are less likely to care for their partners. Countries with higher levels of average income and public spending on families show a lower incidence of care provision within the household, overall, but a higher incidence of caregiving to partners. Discussion: This study shows that different individual and societal socioeconomic resources differentially shape inequality in informal care provision.

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 Presented in Session 53. Inequalities in Care Received and Provided