The Effect of Support to Multiple Generations on Labor Supply in Late Middle Age

Emily Wiemers, University of Massachusetts at Boston
Sung S. Park, University of California, Los Angeles
Suzanne M. Bianchi, University of California, Los Angeles

Men and women in late middle age may be required to support both adult children and aging parents. Existing studies have largely focused on estimating the size of this “sandwich generation” but the combined effects of caregiving to multiple generations on labor supply are unknown. This project uses the Health and Retirement Study to examine the relationship between labor supply and family support for both men and women. We examine the effect of transfers of time, money, and coresidence on whether an individual works, is retired, and the number of hours worked. We find that for women, providing time to children decreases the probability of paid work and providing time to parents increases the probability of retirement. Providing time to children increases the probability of retirement for men but providing time to parents does not affect labor supply. For both sexes, giving money to children or parents is associated with an increase in hours worked.

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Presented in Session 24: Aging and Family Change