Family altruism and long-term care insurance

  • Justina Klimaviciute
  • Pierre Pestieau
  • Jérôme SchoenmaeckersEmail author


The aim of this paper is to analyse long-term care (LTC) insurance purchase decisions by parents who expect to receive assistance from altruistic children. We first propose a simple theoretical model in which we show that the effect of children’s altruism on parents’ insurance decisions is ambiguous and depends on a number of factors: the degree of substitutability between informal and formal care, the degree of parental altruism, and the curvature of the utility functions. We then run an empirical test using data from the U.S., France, Spain, Germany and Israel, and proxy altruism with assistance provided to healthy parents. We find that the effect of children’s altruism is negative in Germany and Israel but not significant in the United States, France and Spain, which possibly suggests that the different forces identified in the theoretical model offset each other.


Long-term care insurance Altruism Informal care 



We are grateful to two anonymous referees for their excellent comments. Financial support from the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) research project CRESUS and the “Chaire Marché des risques et création de valeur” of the FdR/SCOR is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© The Geneva Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justina Klimaviciute
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pierre Pestieau
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jérôme Schoenmaeckers
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.University of LiègeLiègeBelgium
  2. 2.Vilnius UniversityVilniusLithuania
  3. 3.COREUniversité Catholique de LouvainOttignies-Louvain-La-NeuveBelgium
  4. 4.Toulouse School of EconomicsToulouseFrance
  5. 5.Haute Ecole de la Ville de LiègeLiègeBelgium

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