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Time and Financial Transfers Within and Beyond the Family: Results From the Health and Retirement Study


  • Honggao Cao

    (Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan)


Research on time and financial transfers is often conducted along two distinct lines—transfers within the family and transfers beyond the family—without considering the fact that the two types of transfers are actually interrelated. Using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), this article investigates the links between the time and financial transfers within and beyond the family. The concepts of within and beyond the family transfers are discussed. Several data quality problems with the transfer measures in the HRS are corrected. Focusing on the interrelationships among the four types of transfers, the study finds that the transfers within and beyond the family are complements in the sense that households that are more willing to make within-family transfers are also more willing to make beyond-family transfers, and vice versa. Income and wealth are strong predictors of financial transfers. Black and Hispanic households lag systematically in the generosity to help the people both within and beyond their families.

Suggested Citation

  • Honggao Cao, 2005. "Time and Financial Transfers Within and Beyond the Family: Results From the Health and Retirement Study," Labor and Demography 0502006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0502006
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 30

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Paul S. Carlin, 2001. "Evidence on the Volunteer Labor Supply of Married Women," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 801-824, April.
    3. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education, Third Edition, pages 257-298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Menchik, Paul L. & Weisbrod, Burton A., 1987. "Volunteer labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-183, March.
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    More about this item


    time and financial transfers; transfers within the family; transfers beyond the family; philanthropy and volunteerism; HRS;

    JEL classification:

    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics


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