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Dynamic aspects of family transfers

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  • McGarry, Kathleen

Abstract

Parents transfer a great deal to their adult children, and we have rich theoretical models providing a framework for these transfers. However, both the models and existing empirical work typically examine behavior in the cross section. To date, we know little about the dynamic aspects of family transfers. Here I examine transfers over a span of 17 years and find substantial changes in recipiency over time and a strong negative correlation between transfers and transitory income. I also find that events such as job loss and divorce are strong predictors of parental transfers and, although rare, are typically associated with larger transfers than income alone might predict. Finally, transfers are distributed unequally across siblings, and perhaps surprisingly, the distribution of transfers becomes even more unequal when examined over an extended period of time than in any single year. The evidence presented here thus suggests that dynamic analyses can provide insights into behavior that are impossible to obtain in a static context.

Suggested Citation

  • McGarry, Kathleen, 2016. "Dynamic aspects of family transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 1-13.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:137:y:2016:i:c:p:1-13
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2016.03.008
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    Cited by:

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    2. Mohd Khairy Kamarudin & Nasrul Hisyam Nor Muhamad & Abdul Hafiz Abdullah, 2018. "Parents’ transfer to children: Study on the impact of ‘Pindah Milik Tanah 1 Hari’ (Land transfer ownership in one-day) by the Malaysian Land Office," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 8(6), pages 520-529, June.
    3. Marina Miller & Christopher R. Tamborini & Gayle L. Reznik, 2018. "Parental retirement timing: the role of unanticipated events in the lives of adult children," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 747-781, July.
    4. Eleanor J. Choi & Jaewoo Choi & Hyelim Son, 2020. "The Long-Term Effects of Labor Market Entry in a Recession: Evidence from the Asian Financial Crisis," Working Papers 637, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Ctirad Slavik & Kevin Wiseman, 2018. "Tough Love for Lazy Kids: Dynamic Insurance and Equal Bequests," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 27, pages 64-80, January.
    6. Steven J. Haider & Kathleen McGarry, 2018. "Parental Investments in College and Later Cash Transfers," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(5), pages 1705-1725, October.
    7. McGarry, Kathleen, 2016. "Dynamic aspects of family transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 1-13.
    8. Emily E. Wiemers & Judith A. Seltzer & Robert F. Schoeni & V. Joseph Hotz & Suzanne M. Bianchi, 2019. "Stepfamily Structure and Transfers Between Generations in U.S. Families," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(1), pages 229-260, February.
    9. Fernanda Mazzotta & Lavinia Parisi, 2020. "Money and time: what would you give back to me? Reciprocity between children and their elderly parents in Europe," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 37(3), pages 941-969, October.
    10. Orazio Attanasio & Corina Mommaerts & Costas Meghir, 2015. "Insurance in Extended Family Networks," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1996, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    11. Rebekka Christopoulou & Maria Pantalidou, 2018. "Who saved Greek youth? Parental support to young adults during the great recession," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 129, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    12. Abigail Loxton, 2019. "Gender Differences in Inter Vivos Transfers," CAEPR Working Papers 2019-002, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.
    13. Erixson, Oscar & Ohlsson, Henry, 2014. "Estate division: Equal sharing as choice, social norm, and legal requirement," Working Paper Series 2014:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    14. Junya Hamaaki & Masahiro Hori & Keiko Murata, 2019. "The intra-family division of bequests and bequest motives: empirical evidence from a survey on Japanese households," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 309-346, January.
    15. Choi, Eleanor J. & Choi, Jaewoo & Son, Hyelim, 2020. "The Long-Term Effects of Labor Market Entry in a Recession: Evidence from the Asian Financial Crisis," IZA Discussion Papers 13009, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Jessamyn Schaller & Chase Eck, 2019. "Adverse Life Events and Intergenerational Transfers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 19-309, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    17. Christine Ho, 2019. "Child’s gender, parental monetary investments and care of elderly parents in China," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 741-774, September.
    18. Asger Lau Andersen & Niels Johannesen & Adam Sheridan, 2020. "Bailing out the Kids: New Evidence on Informal Insurance from one Billion Bank Transfers," CEBI working paper series 20-19, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    19. Rennane, Stephanie, 2020. "A double safety net? Understanding interactions between disability benefits, formal assistance, and family support," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    20. Akın, Ş. Nuray & Leukhina, Oksana, 2015. "Risk-sharing within families: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 270-284.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Family transfers; Altruism;

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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