487.1 Money, time and space: Intergenerational functional solidarity in a comparative perspective

Friday, August 3, 2012: 10:45 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Marc SZYDLIK , Institute of Sociology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Bettina ISENGARD , Institute of Sociology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Ronny KÖNIG , Institute of Sociology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Tina SCHMID , Institute of Sociology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Intergenerational transfers of money, time and space are important characteristics of parent-child relationships and manifestations of functional solidarity. Previous research reveals substantial differences in the prevalence of functional transfers to adult children in European countries, raising the question of connections between private and public intergenerational solidarity, between family support and welfare states. Apart from individual characteristics and family structures, especially institutional factors are important determinants for understanding different support levels both in regard to giving and taking. To date, the single types of solidarity have predominantly been analysed separately. Yet, a joint analysis of money, time and space transfers is essential in order to find out (1) whether the different forms of functional solidarity are substitutes or complements and (2) to identify different support patterns between and within countries.

Using the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe the impact of micro-, meso- and macro-structural factors in 14 countries (from Sweden to Italy, from Ireland to Poland) is investigated. On the basis of theoretical and empirical multilevel models. we pay special attention to cultural-contextual structures, focusing on welfare state transfers (like social and family expenditures) and other macro indicators (like GDP, non-marital births). The empirical analyses indicate that parents in familialistic and low-level service countries such as Poland, Italy and Spain predominantly support their adult children by providing living space, whereas in less familialistic and more generous welfare states such as the Netherlands, Denmark or Sweden parents rather provide time and monetary support. Moreover, our results reveal that the provision of living space substitutes time and money transfers. The latter, however, do complement each other: children who receive time support from their parents often get monetary help as well. Also, we find considerable gender differences when investigating influences of welfare states for private intergenerational solidarity.