The employment costs of caregiving in Norway



Informal eldercare is an important pillar of modern welfare states and the ongoing demographic transition increases the demand for it while social trends reduce the supply. Substantial opportunity costs of informal eldercare in terms of forgone labor opportunities have been identified, yet the effects seem to differ substantially across states and there is a controversy on the effects in the Nordic welfare states. In this study, the effects of informal care on the probability of being employed, the number of hours worked, and wages in Norway are analyzed using data from the Life cOurse, Generation, and Gender survey. New and previously suggested instrumental variables are used to control for the potential endogeneity existing between informal care and employment-related outcomes. In total, being an informal caregiver in Norway is found to entail substantially less costs in terms of forgone formal employment opportunities than in non-Nordic welfare states.


Informal care Female labor supply European welfare states 

JEL Classification

I11 I12 J22 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Social ResearchOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsThe University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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