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Parents' Economic Support of Young-Adult Children: Do Socioeconomic Circumstances Matter?

Author

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  • Deborah Cobb-Clark

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))

  • Tue Gørgens

    (Research School of Economics, The Australian National University)

Abstract

This paper assesses how the economic support provided by parents to young adults as they complete their education and enter the labor market is related to the family’s socioeconomic circumstances. We address this issue using detailed survey data on intergenerational coresidence and financial transfers merged with nearly a decade of administrative data on the family’s welfare receipt while the young person was growing up. We find that young people who experience socioeconomic disadvantage are more likely to be residentially and financially independent of their parents than are their peers growing up in more advantaged circumstances. This disparity is larger for financial transfers than for co-residence and increases as young people age. Moreover, there is a clear link between parental support and a young person’s engagement in study and work which is generally stronger at age 20 than at age 18 and is often stronger for advantaged than for disadvantaged youths. We find no evidence, however, that a lack of parental support explains the socioeconomic gradient in either studying or employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Deborah Cobb-Clark & Tue Gørgens, 2012. "Parents' Economic Support of Young-Adult Children: Do Socioeconomic Circumstances Matter?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2012n04, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2012n04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. John de New & David Ribar & Christopher Ryan & Clement Wong, 2020. "Financial Outcomes in Adolescence and Early Adulthood in Australian Longitudinal Data," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 53(1), pages 126-138, March.
    2. Angelini, Viola & Bertoni, Marco & Weber, Guglielmo, 2020. "The Long-Term Consequences of a Golden Nest," IZA Discussion Papers 13659, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Anna Zhu, 2017. "Childhood homelessness and adult employment: the role of education, incarceration, and welfare receipt," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(3), pages 893-924, July.
    4. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Dahmann, Sarah C. & Salamanca, Nicolás & Zhu, Anna, 2022. "Intergenerational disadvantage: Learning about equal opportunity from social assistance receipt," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    5. Edwards, Rebecca & Gibson, Rachael & Harmon, Colm & Schurer, Stefanie, 2022. "First-in-their-family students at university: Can non-cognitive skills compensate for social origin?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    6. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Dahmann, Sarah C. & Gielen, Anne C., 2020. "The Intergenerational Effects of Requiring Unemployment Benefit Recipients to Engage in Non-Search Activities," IZA Discussion Papers 13618, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Despard, Mathieu R. & Perantie, Dana & Taylor, Samuel & Grinstein-Weiss, Michal & Friedline, Terri & Raghavan, Ramesh, 2016. "Student debt and hardship: Evidence from a large sample of low- and moderate-income households," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 8-18.
    8. Ferdi Botha & Barbara Broadway & John P. de New & Clement Wong, 2020. "Financial autonomy among emerging adults in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2020n30, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    9. Bubonya, Melisa & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2021. "Pathways of Disadvantage: Unpacking the Intergenerational Correlation in Welfare," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    10. Edwards, Rebecca & Gibson, Rachael & Harmon, Colm P. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2020. "First in Their Families at University: Can Non-cognitive Skills Compensate for Social Origin?," IZA Discussion Papers 13721, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Co-residence; financial transfers; socioeconomic disadvantage; youth outcomes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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