Does Family Care for the Young Come at the Expense of the Old?

Julie M. Zissimopoulos, RAND Corporation
Daphna Gans, RAND Corporation

Using panel data from five waves (1998-2006) of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), this study’s aims are: (a) Estimate age patterns of simultaneous intergenerational money transfers by middle-aged respondents both up the generations (to aging parents) and down the generations (to children/grandchildren); (b) Compare the magnitude of giving among those giving to both generations and those giving exclusively to one generation; and (c) Identify factors associated with the various giver types and those not giving at all. We find that of all households, about ten percent give money to both the young and the old, about thirty-seven percent give money only to children/grandchildren, and about seven percent provide only to parents. The magnitude of monetary transfers to parents is not diminished among respondents who give to both generations compared to respondents who give exclusively to parents. Multivariate models reveal that different factors are associated with the various giver types.

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Presented in Session 46: The Elderly and Their Kin:  Contact, Care and Social Support