A Happy Way to Grow Old? Grandparent Caregiving, Quality of Life and Life Satisfaction

43 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2019

See all articles by Hao Wang

Hao Wang

Brunel University London - Department of Economics and Finance

Jan Fidrmuc

Brunel University - Department of Economics and Finance; L.E.M., Université de Lille; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Global Labor Organization (GLO); Institute for Strategy and Analysis, Government Office of the Slovak Republic

Qi Luo

Brunel University London - Department of Economics and Finance

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

Utilizing the 2015 wave of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) that covers 7045 households, we study the effect of grandparents looking after grandchildren on quality of life and life satisfaction of grandparents. We find evidence of important favorable effects of grandparents caregiving: when grandparents look after their grandchildren, they are 2.9% less likely to report symptoms of depression, the amount of support that they receive from their children approximately doubles, and are 2.7% (1.1%) more likely to report being very satisfied (completely satisfied). These favorable effects are proportionate to the amount of time spend caring for grandchildren and increase with the number of grandchildren looked after. The favorable effects on mental health seem limited to grandparents living in rural areas and apply especially to grandfathers. The favorable effect on life satisfaction is primarily directly attributable to caring for grandchildren rather than being incurred indirectly due to better health or financial situation of grandparents.

Keywords: grandparenting, quality of life, life satisfaction

JEL Classification: D130, O180

Suggested Citation

Wang, Hao and Fidrmuc, Jan and Fidrmuc, Jan and Luo, Qi, A Happy Way to Grow Old? Grandparent Caregiving, Quality of Life and Life Satisfaction (2019). CESifo Working Paper No. 7670, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3422252 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3422252

Hao Wang

Brunel University London - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Kingston Lane
Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH
United Kingdom

Jan Fidrmuc (Contact Author)

L.E.M., Université de Lille ( email )

France

Brunel University - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Uxbridge UB8 3PH
United Kingdom
+44 1895 266 528 (Phone)
+44 1895 269 770 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Collogne
Germany

Institute for Strategy and Analysis, Government Office of the Slovak Republic ( email )

Bratislava
Slovakia

Qi Luo

Brunel University London - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Kingston Lane
Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH
United Kingdom

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