Grandchildren and Their Grandparents' Labor Supply

39 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2018

See all articles by Peter Rupert

Peter Rupert

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics

Giulio Zanella

University of Adelaide; University of Bologna


Working-age grandparents supply large amounts of child care, an observation that raises the question of how having grandchildren affects grandparents' own labor supply. Exploiting the unique genealogical design of the PSID and the random variation in the timing when the parents of first-born boys and girls become grandparents, we estimate a structural labor supply model and find a negative effect on employed grandmother's hours of work of about 30% that is concentrated near the bottom of the hours distribution, i.e., among women less attached to the labor market. Implications for the evaluation of child care and parental leave policies are discussed.

Keywords: labor supply, grandparents, child care

JEL Classification: D19, J13, J14, J22

Suggested Citation

Rupert, Peter and Zanella, Giulio, Grandchildren and Their Grandparents' Labor Supply. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11235, Available at SSRN:

Peter Rupert (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics ( email )

2127 North Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States

Giulio Zanella

University of Adelaide ( email )

Adelaide SA, 5005

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40100

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