August 2018

IZA DP No. 11774: Thinking of Incentivizing Care? The Effect of Demand Subsidies on Informal Caregiving and Intergenerational Transfers

Joan Costa-Font, Sergi Jimenez-Martin, Cristina Vilaplana-Prieto

We study the effect of demand-side subsidies to old age care recipients on both caregiving and intergenerational transfer decisions. We exploit two quasi-natural experiments referring to the inception of a universal and unconditional caregiving allowance in 2007 and its subsequent reduction in 2012. We find that the introduction of a caregiving allowance of a magnitude up to 530€ in 2011 increased the probability of informal caregiving by 32% and the intensity of care in 13.5 days/year. Consistently, we find that downstream (upstream) intergenerational transfers increased (decreased) in a magnitude of 29% (15%). The effects concentrate among middle and lower income households and were attenuated by the reduction of the subsidy.