IZA DP No. 8851: Impacts of Informal Caregiving on Caregiver Employment, Health, and Family
published in: Journal of Population Ageing, 2015, 8(3), 113-145
As the aging population increases, the demand for informal caregiving is becoming an ever more important concern for researchers and policy-makers alike. To shed light on the implications of informal caregiving, this paper reviews current research on its impact on three areas of caregivers' lives: employment, health, and family. Because the literature is inherently interdisciplinary, the research designs, sampling procedures, and statistical methods used are heterogeneous. Nevertheless, we are still able to draw several conclusions: first, despite the prevalence of informal caregiving and its primary association with lower levels of employment, the affected labor force is seemingly small. Second, such caregiving tends to lower the quality of the caregiver's psychological health, which also has a negative impact on physical health outcomes. Third, the implications for family life remain under investigated. The research findings also differ strongly among subgroups, although they do suggest that female, spousal, and intense caregivers tend to be the most affected by caregiving.