Informal Care and Caregiver's Health

Authors

  • Young Kyung Do,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University College of Medicine, and Institute of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul, Korea
    • Correspondence to: Department of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 103 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110–799, Korea. E-mail: ykdo89@snu.ac.kr

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  • Edward C. Norton,

    1. Department of Health Management and Policy & Department of Economics, University of Michigan and NBER, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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  • Sally C. Stearns,

    1. Department of Health Policy and Management, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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  • Courtney Harold Van Houtven

    1. Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA
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Abstract

This study aims to measure the causal effect of informal caregiving on the health and health care use of women who are caregivers, using instrumental variables. We use data from South Korea, where daughters and daughters-in-law are the prevalent source of caregivers for frail elderly parents and parents-in-law. A key insight of our instrumental variable approach is that having a parent-in-law with functional limitations increases the probability of providing informal care to that parent-in-law, but a parent-in-law's functional limitation does not directly affect the daughter-in-law's health. We compare results for the daughter-in-law and daughter samples to check the assumption of the excludability of the instruments for the daughter sample. Our results show that providing informal care has significant adverse effects along multiple dimensions of health for daughter-in-law and daughter caregivers in South Korea. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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