The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 499–511 | Cite as

Use of formal and informal care services among older people in Ireland and France

  • Brenda GannonEmail author
  • Bérengère Davin
Original Paper


This paper focuses on current use of elderly care services in Ireland and France. In light of health care resource allocation problems, it is important to know the level of current use of home care on which future projections may be based. With the availability of SHARE (Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe) data, it is now possible to analyse this process and estimate the relationship between formal and informal care, and our econometric model tests for endogeneity of informal care. Previous research has not included Ireland into the analysis. Given that Ireland has a younger population base, lessons could be learned from countries with older populations, such as France. Results suggest informal care is endogenous and negatively linked with formal care in the pooled (France and Ireland) model. There is a higher unmet need for care in Ireland. These results have important policy implications for Ireland as the demographic makeup will change from 11 per cent to 15 per cent of older people over the next 10 years.


Formal and informal care Unmet needs Older people 

JEL Classifications

J14 I11 C31 



Funding gratefully acknowledged from CNSA (Caisse Nationale de Solidarité pour l’Autonomie). This paper uses data from SHARE release 2.3.0, as of 13 November 2009. SHARE data collection in 2004–2007 was primarily funded by the European Commission through its 5th and 6th framework programmes (project numbers QLK6-CT-2001- 00360, RII-CT- 2006-062193, CIT5-CT-2005-028857). Additional funding was by the US National Institute on Aging (Grant numbers U01 AG09740-13S2, P01 AG005842, P01 AG08291, P30 AG12815, Y1-AG-4553-01, OGHA 04-064, R21 AG025169). Irish SHARE sample was collected with the funding support of the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Irish Centre for Social GerontologyNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland
  2. 2.INSERM, U912 (SE4S)MarseilleFrance
  3. 3.Université Aix Marseille, IRD, UMR-S912MarseilleFrance
  4. 4.Observatoire Régional de la Santé, Provence Alpes Côte d’AzurMarseilleFrance

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