Daily grandchild care and grandparents' employment: A comparison of four European child-care policy regimes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Having grandchildren is known to reduce individuals’ labour supply. However, it is unclear whether there is a negative association between grandchild care provision and employment among grandparents. Moreover, we do not know how the magnitude of any association between the two activities may vary across countries characterised by different child-care policy regimes. Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, this paper investigates the association between daily grandchild care provision and two employment outcomes for grandmothers and grandfathers aged 50–69: the probability of being employed and the average weekly working hours. Recursive bivariate models are used to account for the potential selection of grandparents with different unobserved traits into work and family care. Estimates are compared across four country groups characterised by different child-care policy orientations: optional de-familisation, service de-familisation, supported familism and familism by default. On average, across 20 European countries, grandparents looking after grandchildren daily are no less likely to work than grandparents who do not; however, employed grandfathers work eight hours less per week if providing daily child care. Evidence of a negative association between daily grandchild care and employment is strongest in countries with familistic approaches to child care, with no association in countries characterised by optional de-familisation. This suggests that public support to child care may help retain grandparents in the labour force.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-479
Number of pages32
JournalAgeing & Society
Volume42
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • grandparenthood
  • labour market
  • welfare regimes
  • familism
  • recursive bivariate model

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Daily grandchild care and grandparents' employment: A comparison of four European child-care policy regimes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this