Implications of intergenerational support to ageing relatives: how does elder care affect workplace behaviour of employed informal caregivers?

Ulrike Schneider, WU - Vienna University of Economics & Business
Birgit Trukeschitz, WU - Vienna University of Economics & Business
Richard Mühlmann, WU - Vienna University of Economics & Business
Ivo Ponocny, MODUL University Vienna

One of the major challenges ageing societies face is the provision of long-term care to frail older people. At present care arrangements are characterized by an outstanding role of informal care. As demography changes, and with female work participation, age at retirement and age at first birth increasing, more people will be confronted with challenges originating from combining work and informal care. However, only a minority of evidence based studies addresses informal carer’s work arrangements and workplace behaviour in detail. This paper aims to analyse impacts of intergenerational support in terms of elder care on workplace behaviour of employed informal caregivers. It investigates positive and negative spillovers of informal elder care on (i) productivity related workplace strain and (ii) intentions of job-to-job mobility and intentions to exit the labour market. Our empirical analyses build on a large scale survey of informal caregivers in Vienna, and a comparison group survey of employees without eldercare obligations. The dataset offers a unique combination of variables, providing information on both the working sphere and the care arrangement. Our sample consists of 743 employed informal caregivers and a control group of 612 employees without care obligations. We estimate a Tobit model to analyse the effects of informal care on productivity related workplace strain and a multinomial logistic model to investigate the effects of informal care on intentions to quit the job. Preliminary results show that caring for an older relative does not necessarily impact negatively on the workplace behaviour of an informal carer. In addition, variables characterising the care arrangement prove to be interesting predictors of workplace behaviour. Productivity related workplace strain increases if the intensity of care obligations or the care burden increases. Intentions to quit jobs are affected by the intensity of care or by specific care tasks that need to be provided.

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Presented in Session 102: Policy implication of population ageing

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