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Caring for carers? The effect of public subsidies on the wellbeing of unpaid carers

Costa-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919, D'Amico, Francesco and Vilaplana-Prieto, Cristina (2023) Caring for carers? The effect of public subsidies on the wellbeing of unpaid carers. American Journal of Health Economics, 9 (4). pp. 487-522. ISSN 2332-3493

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Identification Number: 10.1086/723539


We study the effect of long-term care (LTC) subsidies and supports on the wellbeing of unpaid caregivers. We draw on evidence from a policy intervention, that universalized previously means-tested caregiving supports in Scotland, known as free long-term care (FPC). We document causal evidence of an increase in the well-being (happiness) of unpaid carers after the introduction of FPC. Our estimates suggest economically relevant improvements in the happiness (12pp increase in subjective wellbeing) among caregivers exposed to FPC and that provide at least 35 hours of care per week. Consistently, these results are larger among women and non-actively employed caregivers (17pp increase in happiness). Estimates are not driven by selection into caregiving (we find similar wellbeing effects among caregivers from the beginning and caregivers throughout the sample), and are driven by income effects of FPC among caregivers.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2022 University of Chicago Press.
Divisions: Health Policy
Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences
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: 10 Oct 2022 10:15
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2023 10:54

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