Transitions in Giving and Receiving Intergenerational Financial Support in Middle and Old Age

Aviad Tur-Sinai, Noah Lewin-Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The growing population of elderly households, and their diverse economic circumstances, underscores the need to study the patterns of financial assistance in advanced ages. The proposition presented conceptualizes intergenerational financial support as contingent and dynamic. Data are drawn from Wave I to Wave VI of SHARE-Europe. The empirical examination models changes over time in financial support. The study’s findings show that steady giving and receiving is quite exceptional. Most respondents did not engage in giving or receiving financial support at any two time points during the 12 year period covered by our study. Aging, changing living arrangements, and especially economic circumstances affect the likelihood of shifting between giving and not giving as well as receiving or not receiving financial assistance. Comparisons across four European welfare regimes reveal that the propensity to refrain from giving any financial support is salient mainly in Mediterranean and Eastern European states, whereas the likelihood of not receiving sustained financial support from offspring is salient mainly in states characterized by the Continental and the Mediterranean welfare regimes. There appears to be no reciprocity with respect to financial support in Social Democratic and Continental welfare regimes, but we do find evidence of such reciprocity in the Mediterranean and Eastern European regimes. Nonetheless, patterns of intergenerational exchanges of financial and social support are manifested in all welfare regimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-791
Number of pages27
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Volume150
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Financial support
  • Reciprocity
  • SHARE
  • Social stratification

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