Journal of Population Ageing

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 159–180 | Cite as

The Impact of Informal Caregiving Intensity on Women’s Retirement in the United States

  • Josephine C. JacobsEmail author
  • Courtney H. Van Houtven
  • Audrey Laporte
  • Peter C. Coyte



United States Informal caregiving Unpaid care Retirement 


With increasing pressure on retirement-aged individuals to provide informal care while remaining in the work-force, it is important to understand the impact of informal care demands on individuals’ retirement decisions. This paper explores whether different intensities of informal caregiving can lead to retirement for women in the United States. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Mature Women, we control for time-invariant heterogeneity and for time-varying sources of bias with a two-stage least squares model with fixed effects. We find that women who provide at least 20 hours of informal care per week are 1 to 3 percentage points more likely to retire relative to other women. We also find that when unobserved heterogeneity is controlled for with fixed effects, we cannot reject exogeneity. These findings suggest that for a sub-set of high intensity caregivers, policies encouraging both informal care and later retirement may not be feasible without allowances for flexible scheduling or other supports for working caregivers.


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josephine C. Jacobs
    • 1
    Email author
  • Courtney H. Van Houtven
    • 2
  • Audrey Laporte
    • 3
  • Peter C. Coyte
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Health Policy, Management, and EvaluationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center, Department of General Internal MedicineDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Health Policy, Management, and EvaluationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Institute of Health Policy, Management, and EvaluationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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