Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Unpaid Caregiving and Labour Force Participation among Chinese Middle-aged Adults

Version 1 : Received: 12 November 2020 / Approved: 13 November 2020 / Online: 13 November 2020 (20:49:44 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Chai, H.; Fu, R.; Coyte, P.C. Unpaid Caregiving and Labor Force Participation among Chinese Middle-Aged Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 641. Chai, H.; Fu, R.; Coyte, P.C. Unpaid Caregiving and Labor Force Participation among Chinese Middle-Aged Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 641.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 641
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18020641

Abstract

Unpaid family caregivers must consider the economic trade-off between caregiving and paid employment. Prior literature has suggested labour force participation (LFP) to decline with caregiving intensity, but no study has evaluated this relationship by accounting for the presence of both kinks and discontinuities. Here we used respondents of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study baseline survey who were non-farming, of working-age (aged 45-60) and had a young grandchild and/or a parent/parent-in-law. For women and men separately, a caregiving threshold-adjusted probit model was used to assess the association between LFP and weekly unpaid caregiving hours. Instrumental variables were used to rule out the endogeneity of caregiving hours. Of the 3,718 respondents in the analysis, for men, LFP was significantly and inversely associated with caregiving that involved neither discontinuities nor kinks. For women, a kink was identified at the caregiving threshold of 8 hours per week such that before 8 hours, each caregiving hour was associated with an increase of 0.0257 in the marginal probability of LFP, but each hour thereafter was associated with a reduction of 0.0014 in the marginal probability of LFP. These results have implications for interventions that simultaneously advance policies of health, social care and labour force.

Keywords

family caregivers; labour force; labour supply; employment; China

Subject

SOCIAL SCIENCES, Economics

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