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Do Coresidency with and Financial Transfers from Children Reduce the Need for Elderly Parents to Work in Developing Countries?

  • Deborah Cobb-Clark
  • Lisa A Cameron

What drives the labor supply decisions of the elderly in developing countries? To what extent do elderly parents use coresidence with or financial transfers from children to reduce their own labor supply in old age? These questions are increasingly important because populations in many developing countries are rapidly aging. A clear understanding of the relationships between different means of support in old age is crucial to the development of sensible policy responses. This paper is one of only a few studies that seeks to formally model elderly labor supply in the context of a developing country while taking into account coresidency with and financial transfers from children. We find little evidence that support from children – either through transfers or coresidency – substitutes for elderly parents’ need to work. Thus, as in developed countries, there is a role for public policy to enhance the welfare of the elderly population.

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File URL: http://cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/cepr/DP508.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 508.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:508
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  1. Liliana E. Pezzin & Barbara Steinberg Schone, 1999. "Intergenerational Household Formation, Female Labor Supply and Informal Caregiving: A Bargaining Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 475-503.
  2. Anjini Kochar, 2000. "Parental Benefits from Intergenerational Coresidence: Empirical Evidence from Rural Pakistan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1184-1209, December.
  3. Knowles, James C. & Anker, Richard, 1981. "An analysis of income transfers in a developing country : The case of Kenya," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 205-226, April.
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  7. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H. & Bernheim, B. Douglas, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Scholarly Articles 3721794, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Ravallion, Martin & Dearden, Lorraine, 1988. "Social Security in a "Moral Economy": An Empirical Analysis for Java," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 36-44, February.
  11. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-18, October.
  12. Cem Mete & T. Paul Schultz, 2002. "Health and Labor Force Participation of the Elderly in Taiwan," Working Papers 846, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  13. David Joulfaian & Mark O. Wilhelm, 1994. "Inheritance and Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 1205-1234.
  14. 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.
  15. Lee Lillard & Robert Willis, 1997. "Motives for interqenerational transfers: Evidence from Malaysia," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 115-134, February.
  16. Jensen, Robert T., 2004. "Do private transfers 'displace' the benefits of public transfers? Evidence from South Africa," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 89-112, January.
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