Miller, R. and Sedai, A.K. (2022). Opportunity costs of unpaid caregiving: evidence from panel time diaries. The Journal of the Economics of Ageing. 


We examine the association between unpaid adult and child caregiving by older Americans and time allocated to labor supply, home production, leisure, and personal care. After controlling for time-invariant heterogeneity using panel time diaries, we find that older caregivers reported reduced time allocated to each domain fairly evenly overall. However, women showed a stronger associated decline in personal care and labor supply while men showed stronger declines in time devoted to home production. Gendered differences are more pronounced with intensive and non-spousal care. Results highlight time–cost differentials that could be driving observed gender gaps in health and labor market outcomes among unpaid caregivers. The study also underscores the serious endogeneity concerns between caregiving and broader time allocation patterns and highlights the need for additional research to establish the causal effects of caregiving.

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