Should I Care or Should I Work? The Impact of Working in Older Age on Caregiving

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paper


This paper examines the impact of an increase in labour supply on women’s informal caregiving, due to changes in pension rules. We exploit a unique reform that increased the female State-Pension-Age (SPA) in the UK for up to 6 years. Using an instrumental variable approach to account for the endogeneity of labour supply, we show that an increase in employment substantially reduces the intensity of informal care: working for 30 hours/week reduces care-intensity by 6.6 hours/week, and reduces the probability of providing intensive care (> 20 hours/week) by 4 percentage points. We show that these effects are concentrated among women working in physically and psychologically demanding jobs. Our results provide evidence that increasing women’s labour supply in older age by raising the statutory age of retirement may decrease the intensity of informal care, which raises concerns about the availability of informal care in ageing populations.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYork
PublisherHEDG York Working Paper Series
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Informal care
  • pension reform
  • labour supply
  • retirement


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