Social Interaction Effects in an Inter-Generational Model of Informal Care Giving
28 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2007
Date Written: July 2007
We study jointly the health perception of the elderly and the care giving decision of their adult children. Social interactions play a crucial role: elder parents' health perception depends on relations with household members. On the other hand adult children make their care giving decisions strategically, meaning that each of them considers his siblings' decision. We find empirical evidence which support this claim using the 2004 wave of the SHARE survey. We estimate social interaction effects by means of methods taken from the spatial econometric literature. Health perception relation with care giving depends on the determinants of adult children's decision to care: Parents' health may be modelled as a common good for parents and children; the latter's decision may be driven by bequest motives or by pure altruism and/or cultural values. We test implications of the model thanks to the unique features of the SHARE dataset: it is trans-national, allowing to control for cultural and institutional differences, it contains information on health status of over-50 Europeans and details on their social and intergenerational relations.
Keywords: SHARE, care giving, social interactions, health, aging
JEL Classification: C31, D13, I11
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