Social risks, family values and demand for welfare

Dominique Meurs, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED) and University of Paris West - EconomiX
Claudio Lucifora, Università Cattolica, Milan and IZA

Family values and family ties have been shown to be associated to important economic decisions both in labour and credit markets. Different types of social risks are also pooled within the family. This paper investigates the links between social risks, family values and the demand for welfare assistance using data from the 2005 French "Generation and Gender Survey" (GGS). We measure demand for welfare, as opposed to help within family, with respect to both financial support and provision of care services. We define the relevance of family relationship using individuals' self assessed measures of family values (such as duties and responsibilities of parents and children and reciprocal financial support) and construct various indicators of family values. We find a positive association between both traditional values within the couple and intergenerational family links with the pooling of social risks and services provided within the household. We show that there is substantial heterogeneity across different groups with respect to the demand for welfare assistance. We investigate causality using long term cultural determinants of selected population as instruments for family values. Results show that demand for welfare is mainly affected by the intergenerational dimension of family values, while the effect of values within couple is no longer statistically significan

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Presented in Session 97: Family and gender issues

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