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

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Cox, Donald & Jimenez, Emmanuel & Okrasa, Wlodek, 1997. "Family Safety Nets and Economic Transition: A Study of Worker Households in Poland," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(2), pages 191-209, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:43:y:1997:i:2:p:191-209
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1994. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Accumulation of Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 145-160.
    2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Jacob A. Frenkel, 1991. "From Centrally-Planned to Market Economies: The Road from CPE to PCPE," NBER Working Papers 3698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-546, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2006. "Microeconomic models of family transfers," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    2. Kuhn, Randall & Stillman, Steven, 2004. "Understanding Interhousehold Transfers in a Transition Economy: Evidence from Russia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, pages 131-156.
    3. Zuleika Ferré, 2004. "Capital Social y redes: Una Aproximación al Apoyo Inter-hogares," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1604, Department of Economics - dECON.
    4. Barmon, Basanta Kumar, 2011. "Expenditure Patterns Of Some Informal Sectors In Bangladesh: An Empirical Evidence Of Dhaka City," Bangladesh Journal of Agricultural Economics, Bangladesh Agricultural University, vol. 34(1-2).
    5. Stefan Hochguertel & Henry Ohlsson, 2009. "Compensatory inter vivos gifts," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 993-1023.
    6. Hungerman, Daniel M., 2014. "Public goods, hidden income, and tax evasion: Some nonstandard results from the warm-glow model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 188-202.
    7. Dimova, Ralitza & Wolff, François-Charles, 2008. "Are private transfers poverty and inequality reducing? Household level evidence from Bulgaria," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, pages 584-598.
    8. McKernan, Signe-Mary & Pitt, Mark M. & Moskowitz, David, 2005. "Use of the formal and informal financial sectors : does gender matter? empirical evidence from rural Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3491, The World Bank.
    9. Attanasio, Orazio & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 2000. "Consumption smoothing in island economies: Can public insurance reduce welfare?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1225-1258, June.
    10. Lam, Lai Ming & Paul, Saumik, 2013. "Displacement and Erosion of Informal Risk-Sharing: Evidence from Nepal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 42-55.
    11. World Bank, 2003. "Romania : Poverty Assessment, Volume 2. Background Papers," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14700, The World Bank.
    12. Hagen-Zanker, Jessica, 2010. "Modest expectations: Causes and effects of migration on migrant households in source countries," MPRA Paper 29507, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Lei, Xiaoyan & Giles, John & Hu, Yuqing & Park, Albert & Strauss, John & Zhao, Yaohui, 2012. "Patterns and correlates of intergenerational non-time transfers : evidence from CHARLS," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6076, The World Bank.
    14. Anna Baranowska-Rataj, 2012. "What would your parents say? The impact of cohabitation on intergenerational relations in traditional societies," Working Papers 50, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    15. Hungerman, Daniel M., 2014. "Public goods, hidden income, and tax evasion: Some nonstandard results from the warm-glow model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 188-202.
    16. Andrén, Daniela & Andrén, Thomas, 2007. "Occupational Gender Composition and Wages in Romania: From Planned Equality to Market Inequality?," IZA Discussion Papers 3152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Sergei Guriev & Barry W. Ickes, 2000. "Microeconomic Aspects of Economic Growth in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, 1950-2000," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 348, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    18. Albarran, Pedro & Attanasio, Orazio P., 2002. "Do Public Transfers Crowd Out Private Transfers? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Mexico," WIDER Working Paper Series 006, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    19. Mitrut, Andreea & Wolff, François-Charles, 2009. "A causal test of the demonstration effect theory," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 52-54, April.
    20. Maria Amelina & Dan Chiribuca & Stephen Knack, 2004. "Mapped In or Mapped Out? The Romanian Poor in Inter-household and Community Networks," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14934.
    21. Tomini, Florian & Hagen-Zanker, Jessica, 2010. "How has internal migration in Albania affected the receipt of transfers from family and friends?," MPRA Paper 29478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. 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.
    23. Christoph Bühler & Ewa Fratczak, 2005. "Learning from others and receiving support: the impact of personal networks on fertility intentions in Poland," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2005-017, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • P35 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Public Finance

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