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Helping to Build and Rebuild Secure Lives and Futures: Intergenerational Financial Transfers from Parents to Adult Children and Grandchildren

Author

Listed:
  • Jenny Ploeg
  • Lori Campbell
  • Margaret Denton
  • Anju Joshi
  • Sharon Davies

Abstract

This paper explores one form of intergenerational exchange, that of financial transfers from parents to adult children and grandchildren. Research on intergenerational financial transfers has been sparse, and little is known about the perceptions of older people themselves related to such transfers. Survey data from a convenience sample of older Canadians was analyzed to determine the type of financial assistance older persons provide to their adult children and grandchildren, what motivates them to provide this assistance, and the meanings such transfers hold for the older persons themselves. Findings from the study are discussed within a life course perspective. An overarching theme that emerges from this study reflects the desire of older parents to help their children and grandchildren 'build or rebuild secure lives and futures'. Other reasons for providing such financial assistance are discussed under the themes: family love or commitment; "they need it and I can help"; family history of assistance; and passing on an early inheritance.

Suggested Citation

  • Jenny Ploeg & Lori Campbell & Margaret Denton & Anju Joshi & Sharon Davies, 2003. "Helping to Build and Rebuild Secure Lives and Futures: Intergenerational Financial Transfers from Parents to Adult Children and Grandchildren," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 96, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:96
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap96.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. McGarry, K. & Schoeni, R.F., 1995. "Transfer Behavior With the Family: Results from the Asset and Health Dynamics Survey," Papers 95-09, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    2. 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.
    3. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-546, June.
    4. Wolfgang HÄRDLE & J. MARRON & L. YANG, 1996. "Discussion," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1996,65, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial transfers; intergenerational support;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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