Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 155–183 | Cite as

Delegating home care for the elderly to external caregivers? An empirical study on Italian data

  • Matteo Lippi Bruni
  • Cristina Ugolini


We study care arrangement decisions in Italy, where families are increasingly delegating the role of primary caregiver to external (paid) people also for the provision of home care. We consider a sample of households with a dependent elderly person cared for either at home or in a residential home, extracted from a survey representative of the population of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. We investigate the determinants of a household’s decision to opt for one of the following three alternatives: the institutionalisation of elderly family members, informal home care, or paid home care. We estimate two model specifications, based on a simultaneous and a sequential decision process respectively, the results of which are fairly consistent. Disability related variables, rather than family characteristics, emerge as the main determinants of institutionalisation. On the other hand, household characteristics and socio-economic variables are more influential when it comes to choosing between informal and formal home care provisions.


Long-term care Elderly living arrangements Informal care Household choice Health economics 

JEL Classification

C21 D13 I18 



The authors are grateful to participants to iHEA World Congress, the Conference on Long Term Care held at ZEW (Mannheim), the International Conference on Evidence-based Policy in Long-Term Care (ILPN 2012) held at the London School of Economics and the SIEP conference held at the University of Pavia for useful suggestions. We thank Irene Mammi and Rossella Verzulli for comments on a previous version of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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