Golden Years? The Labor Market Effects of Caring for Grandchildren

38 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2007

See all articles by Ying Wang

Ying Wang

IMPAQ International LLC

Dave E. Marcotte

University of Maryland Baltimore County; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: February 2007


The number of Americans raising grandchildren has been rising steadily. In this paper, we add to what is known about the implications of this trend by focusing on the economic effects of raising a grandchild. We make use of a unique data set compiled from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics along with its Parent Identification File. Using this nationally representative sample of 3,240 grandparents who are heads of households, we estimate the effect of taking in a grandchild on a grandparent's labor force participation and hours worked. We estimate ordinary and two-stage models that distinguishing between grandparents living only with grandchildren (skipped generation families) and those who also have taken in their own children (three-generation families). The results suggest that caring for grandchildren leads to greater attachment to the labor force, especially in skipped-generation families, for grandfathers, and among married grandparents.

Keywords: grandparents, child care, labor force participation, work hours, retirement

JEL Classification: J13, J14, J22, J26

Suggested Citation

Wang, Ying and Marcotte, Dave E., Golden Years? The Labor Market Effects of Caring for Grandchildren (February 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2629, Available at SSRN:

Ying Wang

IMPAQ International LLC ( email )

1325 G Street, NW
Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Dave E. Marcotte (Contact Author)

University of Maryland Baltimore County ( email )

1000 Hilltop Circle
Policy Sciences Graduate Program 621 Administration Building
Baltimore, MD 21250
United States
410-455-1455 (Phone)
410-455-1172 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics