Grandparents’ Help and Fertility Decisions

Elena C. Meroni, Università di Padova
Chiara Pronzato, Università Bocconi

Using data from SHARE we investigate the effect of grandparents’ help with childcare on the fertility behavior of their children.The first aim of this paper is to assess whether there is a causal effect of childcare on fertility decisions. We focus on a particular type of childcare, the one provided by grandparents. Moreover, the paper aims at understanding how the changes in the population dynamics (larger age-gap between generations, better health, more divorce, more only children, later age at retirement) may have an indirect effect on fertility through the care given by older generations. By using SHARE, we have information up to 4 generations and we use variables related to the grandparents’ help in childcare and the arrival of new grandchildren.Given the potential endogeneity of grandparent’s help on fertility, we use an instrumental variable approach. First results show that grandparents’ help has a positive effect on fertility.

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Presented in Poster Session 2