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Journal Article

The effect of free personal care for the elderly on informal caregiving


Publication date

Mar 2015


Population forecasters have predicted that the proportion of people in
the UK aged 65 years and older will rise significantly in coming
decades. This shift in demographics will put increasing pressure on the
National Health Service and providers of social care. However, older
people do not rely only on care provided by the state; informal care of
the elderly is often supplied by family and friends. Therefore, the
relationship between formal and informal care and the reaction of
informal carers to institutional changes is an important policy issue.
This study uses individual level data from the British Household Panel
Survey to estimate the effects of the introduction of free personal care
for the elderly in Scotland on informal care behaviour. As the change
in policy applied only to Scotland, a natural experiment is formed
allowing a difference-in-differences approach to be used. This paper
finds that the introduction of the policy increased the probability of
women supplying informal care by around six percentage points. In
addition, for both sexes, it reports evidence of a shift away from the
upper and lower tails towards the middle of the hours of care
distribution as a result of the change in policy. Copyright © 2015 John
Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Published in

Health Economics

Volume and page numbers

24 , 104 -117





Older People, Public Policy, and Caregiving


Not held in Research Library - bibliographic reference only


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