Exchanges of financial and practical support between parents and adult children

Population ageing, and the increased difficulties faced by many young adults in accessing secure housing and employment, have prompted a growing debate about intergenerational equity focused largely on public resource transfers. However, public resource transfers, which in advanced industrial societies tend to be upward, interact with private transfers within families, which tend to be downward, although possibly with some reversal after around age 75, and have large, and possibly increasing, impacts on well-being across the life course. In this study MiSoC Co-I Emily Grundy and collaborator Fiona Steele (LSE) address different questions about the pattern of intergenerational exchange in contemporary UK using data form the UK Household Longitudinal Study. First they ask whether the provision of help to parents by adult children vary by the child’s socio-economic (education, income, housing tenure), socio-demographic (age, gender, ethnicity) and family status (presence of partner and children) as well as age of their parent(s). Similarly, they will investigate whether the parental provision of help to children vary by parental characteristics. The second question asks whether there is any evidence of an influence of reciprocity in transfers from both the younger and the older generation, i.e. whether those who provide help are also more likely to report receipt of help. Finally, this research will investigate evidence for a substitution effect, i.e. whether donors who provide financial assistance provide less practical help and vice versa. Due consideration will be placed on the effects of proximity in all analyses and whether or not including this in the estimation influences other associations.