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Family Safety Nets and Economic Transition: A Study of Worker Households in Poland

  • Cox, Donald
  • Jimenez, Emmanuel
  • Okrasa, Wlodek

Can Eastern European families most severely impoverished during the transition to capitalism rely on private family safety nets? This question is likely critical for the transition's success, but little is known about family networks in Eastern Europe. The authors analyze newly available Polish household surveys, conducted both before and after Poland's economic transition, which measure private inter-household transfers. Such transfers are large and widespread in Poland, and in many ways appear to function like means-tested public transfers. They flow from high to low-income households and are targeted to young couples, families with many children and those experiencing illness. Private transfer patterns also suggest that they are responsive to liquidity constraints. The authors' results from 1987 data indicate that private transfers could fill a non-trivial portion of the income gap left by unemployment. However, they also find evidence from 1992 data suggesting that family networks weakened somewhat after the transition. Copyright 1997 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

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Article provided by International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in its journal Review of Income & Wealth.

Volume (Year): 43 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 191-209

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Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:43:y:1997:i:2:p:191-209
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  1. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, . "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-10, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  2. William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1991. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Accumulation of Wealth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 624, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Jacob A. Frenkel & Guillermo Calvo, 1991. "From Centrally-Planned to Market Economies; The Road from CPE to PCPE," IMF Working Papers 91/17, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
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