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Understanding Interhousehold Transfers in a Transition Economy: Evidence from Russia

Author

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  • Kuhn, Randall

    (University of Colorado, Boulder)

  • Stillman, Steven

    (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano)

Abstract

This paper uses data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey to describe and model the determinants of interhousehold transfers. Russian households have experienced large reductions in income during the post-Soviet transition period, with a particularly severe decline occurring in the fall of 1998. Sharply declining fertility, increasing mortality, and past demographic catastrophes has left a population which is both young (few elderly) and old (one of the oldest working-age populations in the world). Informal networks in Russia are likely to take on distinctive characteristics as the country’s economic institutions are underdeveloped and there is a very limited social safety net, while household structure closely resembles that found in much wealthier countries. Although it is often assumed that the elderly in Russia are a highly vulnerable economic group, we actually find that transfers flow strongly from the elderly to their adult children, whom are typically in the early part of the life-course (i.e. in school, starting to work, or recently married). This is especially true for the elderly in rural areas. While households with higher longer-term resources receive on net more transfers, we also find strong evidence that transfers respond to economic needs (i.e. transitory fluctuations in resources).

Suggested Citation

  • Kuhn, Randall & Stillman, Steven, 2002. "Understanding Interhousehold Transfers in a Transition Economy: Evidence from Russia," IZA Discussion Papers 574, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp574
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schoeni, Robert F, 1997. "Private Interhousehold Transfers of Money and Time: New Empirical Evidence," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(4), pages 423-448, December.
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    5. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
    6. Lee Lillard & Robert Willis, 1997. "Motives for interqenerational transfers: Evidence from Malaysia," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(1), pages 115-134, February.
    7. Samuel Preston, 1984. "Children and the elderly: Divergent paths for America’s dependents," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 21(4), pages 435-457, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Burggraf, Christine, 2017. "Russian demand for dietary quality: Nutrition transition, diet quality measurement, and health investment theory," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 86, number 86, June.
    2. Dang,Hai-Anh H. & Lokshin,Michael M. & Abanokova,Ksenia & Bussolo,Maurizio, 2018. "Inequality and Welfare Dynamics in the Russian Federation during 1994-2015," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8629, The World Bank.
    3. Dimova, Ralitza & Wolff, François-Charles, 2008. "Are private transfers poverty and inequality reducing? Household level evidence from Bulgaria," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 584-598, December.
    4. Mark C. Foley & William Pyle, 2005. "Household Savings in Russia during the Transition," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0522, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    5. Grogan, Louise, 2013. "Household formation rules, fertility and female labour supply: Evidence from post-communist countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1167-1183.
    6. repec:zbw:iamost:269539 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Matthieu CLEMENT, 2007. "The relation between private transfers and household income on looking at altruism, exchange and risk-sharing hypotheses. An empirical analysis applied to Russia (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2007-08, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    8. Burggraf, Christine, 2017. "Russian demand for dietary quality: Nutrition transition, diet quality measurement, and health investment theory," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies 269539, Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    aging; interhousehold transfers; transition economies; household structure; Russia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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