Did the Introduction of Free Personal Care in Scotland Result in a Reduction of Informal Care?

WDA-HSG Discussion Paper No. 2007-3

38 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2011

See all articles by David N.F. Bell

David N.F. Bell

University of Stirling - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Alison Bowes

School of Applied Social Science

Axel Heitmueller

London Business School; Prime Minister's Strategy Unit; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: May 1, 2007

Abstract

There are more than 5 million carers in the UK. These provide a vital low cost resource to support frail older people. Without their continued participation in caring activities, governments would face a steep increase in formal care costs. Therefore the issue of substitution between formal and informal care is a vital policy issue. This paper explores a recent “natural experiment” in care provision. In 2002, the Scottish Parliament agreed to provide personal care free of charge to all those in need of such care. This policy was not followed elsewhere in the UK. Social conditions and data resources are largely uniform throughout the UK; this permits a reasonably rigorous evaluation of the initial impact of the policy of free personal care on informal caring behaviour. Using a difference-in-difference methodology with the British Household Panel Survey, the authors show that informal caring in Scotland did not decrease relative to the rest of the UK after the substantial expansion in formal provision in Scotland. While the finding is in line with other international evidence, the paper argues that it may partly be explained by changes in the type of care that informal carers provide following the policy change.

Keywords: formal and informal care, natural experiment

JEL Classification: J14, D04

Suggested Citation

Bell, David N.F. and Bowes, Alison and Heitmueller, Axel, Did the Introduction of Free Personal Care in Scotland Result in a Reduction of Informal Care? (May 1, 2007). WDA-HSG Discussion Paper No. 2007-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1884071 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1884071

David N.F. Bell (Contact Author)

University of Stirling - Department of Economics ( email )

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom
+44 1786 467 486 (Phone)
+44 1786 467 469 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Alison Bowes

School of Applied Social Science ( email )

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom
01786 467709 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dass.stir.ac.uk/staff/Prof-Alison-Bowes/5

Axel Heitmueller

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

Prime Minister's Strategy Unit ( email )

Admiralty Arch
London, SW1A 2WH
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
66
Abstract Views
613
rank
355,752
PlumX Metrics