Working Paper BETA #2020-55

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Title : Informal caregivers and life satisfaction: Empirical Evidence from the Netherlands

Author(s) : Marie Blaise, Laetitia Dillenseger

Abstract : The impact of informal care provision on life satisfaction remains an unsolved puzzle: because of reverse causality and time-varying unobserved variable biases, simple cross-sectional estimations or fixed-effect models may provide unclear picture of the causal relation between the informal care supply and life satisfaction. Using panel data from the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences (LISS) for the Netherlands over the period 2009-2018, we first estimate a simple OrdinaryLeast-Square (OLS) model with fixed-effect analysing the impact of informal care on caregivers’ life satisfaction. We then use an Arellano-Bond system Generalized-Method-of-Moments (GMM) model to address endogeneity issues. We find that taking into account an endogeneity bias slightly increases the negative impact of providing informal care on life satisfaction compared with an OLS with fixed-effects approach. Additionally, the detrimental effect of providing care is larger for women, individuals being in co-habitation with children, and unemployed individuals. Among caregivers, providing support to someone living in the same household or being a family caregiver has a stronger negative impact on life satisfaction.

Key-words : Informal care; satisfaction; happiness; generalized method of moments; the Netherlands

JEL Classification : D10; I10; I31