The Effect of Informal Care from Children on Cognitive Functioning of Older Parents

36 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2013

See all articles by Eric Bonsang

Eric Bonsang

ROA; Netspar

Valeria Bordone

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Date Written: January 31, 2013

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the effect of informal care received from the children, understood as the instrumental component of social support, on the cognitive functioning of elderly parents. As the correlation between informal care and cognitive functioning is likely to be driven by reverse causality or unobserved heterogeneity, we use instrumental variables (IV) approach with the gender ratio of the children as an instrument for the amount of informal care that parents receive from their children. Results from the IV models on data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe highlight a significant negative effect of the amount of informal care provided by the children on cognitive functioning of the mothers. This hints that too much support may result in passive behaviors of the elderly, which in turn is detrimental for their cognitive functioning.

Suggested Citation

Bonsang, Eric and Bordone, Valeria, The Effect of Informal Care from Children on Cognitive Functioning of Older Parents (January 31, 2013). Netspar Discussion Paper No. 01/2013-008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2251784 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2251784

Eric Bonsang (Contact Author)

ROA ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, MD6200
Netherlands

Netspar ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Valeria Bordone

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

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