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Migration, Location and Provision of Support to Old-Age Parents: The Case of Romania

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  • Zachary Zimmer
  • Codrina Rada
  • Catalin Stoica

Abstract

The combined demographic developments of population aging and high rates of migration of young adults are consequential for older parents who face a potential decline in support from adult children. These developments also impact the lives of migrant adults who face the challenge of providing support to aging parents from a distance. Systematic data that allow examination of associations between the location of migrants and the provision of support to aging parents are difficult to find for Eastern Europe, a region undergoing enormous demographic and socio-economic transition. Using recently collected data from Romania, a country facing both rapid aging and out-migration, and building upon a family altruism framework, this study models provision of monetary and instrumental support as a function of migrant’s location of residence, location of their siblings in relation to parents, and other characteristics that fall under domains of parental need, ability of migrant to provide, and predisposing characteristics of migrant and parent. Models are run using a mixed methods approach accounting for the random effects at the family level. Results indicate international migrants are more likely to give money while those migrating within Romania are more likely to provide instrumental support. Regardless of type of support or location of migrant, the probability of support increases when other sources are less available and when a parent has greater need. Results provide support for the altruistic framework and help to build upon the understanding of intergenerational exchanges within rapidly changing demographic environments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Utah, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah with number 2013_09.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uta:papers:2013_09

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Keywords: population aging; migration; intergenerational support; Romania JEL Classification: F22; F24; N30; R23;

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  1. Mitrut, Andreea & Nordblom, Katarina, 2010. "Social norms and gift behavior: Theory and evidence from Romania," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 998-1015, November.
  2. Lillard, L-A & Willis, R-J, 1997. "Motives for Intergenerational Transfers. Evidence from Malaysia," Papers 97-04, RAND - Reprint Series.
  3. Zachary Zimmer & Kim Korinek, 2010. "Shifting coresidence near the end of life: Comparing decedents and survivors of a follow-up study in China," Demography, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 537-554, August.
  4. Sherbourne, Cathy Donald & Stewart, Anita L., 1991. "The MOS social support survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 705-714, January.
  5. Zachary Zimmer & Julia Kwong, 2003. "Family size and support of older adults in urban and rural China: Current effects and future implications," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 23-44, February.
  6. Leah Vanwey, 2004. "Altruistic and contractual remittances between male and female migrants and households in rural Thailand," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 739-756, November.
  7. Fuqin Bian & John Logan & Yanjie Bian, 1998. "Intergenerational relations in urban China: Proximity, contact, and help to parents," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 115-124, February.
  8. John Giles & Ren Mu, 2007. "Elderly parent health and the migration decisions of adult children: Evidence from rural China," Demography, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 265-288, May.
  9. Giorgio Secondi, 1997. "Private monetary transfers in rural china: Are families altruistic?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 487-511.
  10. Agesa, Richard U & Kim, Sunwoong, 2001. "Rural to Urban Migration as a Household Decision: Evidence from Kenya," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 60-75, February.
  11. Julie DaVanzo & Angelique Chan, 1994. "Living arrangements of older malaysians: Who coresides with their adult children?," Demography, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 95-113, February.
  12. Roman, Monica & Voicu, Cristina, 2010. "Some Socio-Economic Effects of Labour Migration on the Sending Country. Evidence from Romania," MPRA Paper 23527, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2010.
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