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Changes in the Living Arrangements of Elderly People in Greece: 1974-1999


  • Eleni Karagiannaki


During the period 1974-1999 the percentage of elderly living with their children in Greece reduced from 55 per cent to about 32 per cent. In this paper we examine determinants of the decrease in intergenerational co-residence among Greek elderly people and their adult children and its implications for economic well-being. We find that the main factor that has contributed to the change in the living arrangements has been the increase in the pension incomes. Although income was the most important force driving the increase in the independent living among the elderly Greeks throughout the period under examination its contribution to the change reduced significantly during the 1990s. As the importance of incomes in accounting for changes in co-residence rates among the elderly reduces over time so the contribution of the unobserved year effect rises. This finding points to the role of changing preferences in determining intergenerational co-residence. Despite the substantial decrease in intergenerational co-residence we find that the family in Greece still plays a very significant role in protecting the poor elderly people.

Suggested Citation

  • Eleni Karagiannaki, 2005. "Changes in the Living Arrangements of Elderly People in Greece: 1974-1999," CASE Papers 104, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:sticas:104

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Axel Borsch-Supan & Vassilis Hajivassiliou & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1992. "Health, Children, and Elderly Living Arrangements: A Multiperiod-Multinomial Probit Model with Unobserved Heterogeneity and Autocorrelated Errors," NBER Chapters,in: Topics in the Economics of Aging, pages 79-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Iacovou, Maria, 2000. "The living arrangements of elderly Europeans," ISER Working Paper Series 2000-09, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Costa, Dora L., 1999. "A house of her own: old age assistance and the living arrangements of older nonmarried women," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 39-59, April.
    4. Douglas Wolf & Beth Soldo, 1988. "Household composition choices of older unmarried women," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 25(3), pages 387-403, August.
    5. Fred Pampel, 1983. "Changes in the propensity to live alone: Evidence from consecutive cross-sectional surveys, 1960–1976," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 20(4), pages 433-447, November.
    6. Ellen Kramarow, 1995. "The elderly who live alone in the united states: Historical perspectives on household change," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(3), pages 335-352, August.
    7. Iacovou, Maria, 2000. "Health, wealth and progeny: explaining the living arrangements of older European women," ISER Working Paper Series 2000-08, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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    More about this item


    elderly; intergenerational living arrangements; Greece; poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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