Geographic dispersion and the well-being of the elderly

Published: 2010
Project ID: UM10-15


The rising cost of medical care, especially long-term care, poses serious budgetary challenges in the context of an aging population. The majority of long-term care is currently provided by adult children, likely affecting their labor supply. Absent this support, the burden could fall to public insurance programs (particularly Medicare and Medicaid), increasing the debt burden on subsequent generations. Adult childrens’ ability to provide care to elder parents depends importantly on the geographic dispersion of family members. Here we study this dispersion and follow its evolution over time. Our results will speak to the availability of kin to provide care and to the cost of this care to individuals providing it.