The chicken or the egg? Endogeneity in labour market participation of informal carers in England

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2007


Around 14% of the UK labour force has informal care responsibilities and almost everyone in society will be an informal carer in their lifetime. A well-known fact in the small economic literature on informal care is the apparent negative relation between care responsibilities and labour market participation. Yet, caring and labour market participation may be endogenous. Using an instrumental variable approach and panel data techniques and employing data from the British Household Panel Study from 1991 to 2002, this paper shows that not accommodating for endogeneity in the labour market participation equation may significantly overestimate the impact care exhibits on the employment decision of informal carers. Moreover, it is shown that a negative impact on employment only applies to some care-types. Policy implications are derived.

Published in

Journal of Health Economics


Volume: 26 (3):536-559




Originally in as In Press, Corrected Proof, [forthcoming 2007?]

Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*



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