Response of Family Elder Support to Changes in the Income of the Elderly in Korea

Erin Hye-Won Kim, Duke University
Philip J. Cook, Duke University

The population of South Korea is aging rapidly and the threat to elderly well-being from the erosion of traditional family care is of much concern. Despite its implications to public policy, relatively little is known about the extent to which support by adult children responds to changes in elderly parents’ income. Do adult children vary their contributions to compensate for losses and gains of elderly parents? This paper addresses this issue using data from the first two waves of the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Between 2005 and 2007 there was substantial variation in sources and amounts of income of elderly Koreans and in family elder support. Our results provide little evidence for the hypothesis that children’s support offset loss of income by their parents. Parents who experienced a relatively large increase in income received more financial transfers from children. The effect of changes in income on co-residence followed a mixed pattern.

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Presented in Session 123: Aging in Developing Countries: Intergenerational Support and Living Arrangements