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Mental health effects of caregivers respite: subsidies or supports?

Costa-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919 and Vilaplana-Prieto, Cristina (2022) Mental health effects of caregivers respite: subsidies or supports? Journal of the Economics of Ageing, 23. ISSN 2212-828X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jeoa.2022.100398


We study the effect the effect of a policy intervention that universalized previously means-tested subsidies in Spain, and document causal evidence of the effect of the receipt of caregiving supports and subsidies on unpaid spousal/partners caregivers mental health. Our estimates suggest that caregiving supports improve the mental health of caregivers among those providing more than 50 hours of care. In contrast, a subsidy gives rise to a reduction of 14.2pp. in the probability of depressive symptoms among individuals receiving less than 50 hours of care. Consistently, we find evidence of an increase in life satisfaction (15%) upon the receipt of subsidies and home supports (11%). We further document that evidence of a reduction in the probability of depression which is higher among part-time caregivers who spend between 20-50 caregiving hours/week compared to those providing more intensive care, which is explained by behavioural changes after the receipt of caregiving benefits. Finally, we estimate that a ‘hypothetical caregiving’ subsidy amount that would have fully compensated caregivers’ for their wellbeing losses (compared to non-caregivers) should lie between 800 and 850 euros/month, which is a magnitude well above the actual subsidy.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I18 - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2022 10:00
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2022 08:00

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