Family norms and financial transfers from adult children to parents in European regions

Maaike Jappens, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Jan Van Bavel, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Intergenerational family solidarity is still alive and well in Europe. As research shows, many parents and adult children support each other with financial gifts, care and household help. While time-related transfers are generally directed both towards the older and the younger generation, cash mainly flows downwards. Therefore, most research focuses on financial support from parents to children. Yet, in some places, a substantial part of the elderly does receive financial gifts from their children. This kind of support may even become more important with the aging of European populations and the pressure upon pension schemes. Based on data from the second round of the European Social Survey, we are interested in European patterns of financial support of older parents by their adult children. Are these patterns mainly determined by economic and institutional factors, or does the cultural climate play a role too? To answer these questions, we work on the level of regions nested within countries. This allows us to make use of multilevel techniques, and to account for the heterogeneity that does exist in European countries. Unlike most other comparative research about intergenerational family support, we include Western as well as Eastern Europe in our analyses.

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Presented in Session 81: Intergenerational support at older ages