The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 461–490

The trade-off between formal and informal care in Spain

  • Sergi Jiménez-Martín
  • Cristina Vilaplana Prieto
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10198-011-0317-z

Cite this article as:
Jiménez-Martín, S. & Prieto, C.V. Eur J Health Econ (2012) 13: 461. doi:10.1007/s10198-011-0317-z


Understanding the factors that determine the type and amount of formal care is important for predicting use in the future and developing long-term policy. In this context, we jointly analyze the provision of care at both the extensive (choice of care) and the intensive margin (number of hours of care received). In particular, we estimate and test, for the first time in this area of research, a sample selection model with the particularities that the first step is a multinomial logit model and the hours of care is an interval variable. Our results support the complementary and task-specific models which evidence has been found in other countries. Furthermore, we obtain evidence of substitution between formal and informal care for the male, young, married and unmarried subsamples. Regarding the hours of care, we find significant biases in predicted hours of care when sample selection is not taken into account. For the whole sample, the average bias is 2.77% for total hours and 3.23% for formal care hours. However, biases can be much larger (up to 10–15%), depending on the subsample and the type of care considered.


Long-term care Formal care Informal care Caregivers 

JEL codes

I1 J14 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergi Jiménez-Martín
    • 1
  • Cristina Vilaplana Prieto
    • 2
  1. 1.Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona GSE and FEDEABarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Universidad de Murcia and FEDEAMurciaSpain

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