Does Taking Care of Grandchildren Affect Grandparents' Cognition?

Shangyi Mao, Peking University

Using the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) baseline data, we explore to what extent grandparental care influences grandparents' cognition, by considering two dimensions of cognitive ability. In order to address the endogeneity of providing childcare, we adopt an instrumental variable approach. We find no evidence to suggest that care of grandchildren has a positive effect on grandparents' cognitive ability. On the contrary, for one of the considered dimensions, episodic memory, we find a substantial negative effect.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Children and Youth/Population and Aging