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Upstream Intergenerational Transfers

Author

Listed:
  • Frank A. Sloan

    (Department of Economics, Duke University)

  • Jingshu Wang

    (Department of Economics, Duke University)

  • Harold H. Zhang

    (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Abstract

This study analyzes upstream intergenerational transfers from middle-aged children to their elderly parents. We formulate a model in which the middle-aged child transfers both money and time to an elderly parent based on an altruistic motive. We examine substitution between financial transfers and time transfers using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Empirical results support the assumption that upstream transfers are motivated by altruism, particularly financial transfers. Parents financially worse off than their middle-aged children receive more money. They are more likely to live nearby if not coresident. Overall, the results for time transfers provide weaker support for our model than financial transfers. A child with a high wage tends to transfer money rather than time, suggesting that the two types of transfers are partial substitutes.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank A. Sloan & Jingshu Wang & Harold H. Zhang, 2002. "Upstream Intergenerational Transfers," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 363-380, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:69:2:y:2002:p:363-380
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    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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