New Patterns of Intergenerational Transfers: A Comparative Approach.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal BIG 1 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Beatriz JIMENEZ ROGER, University of Granada, Spain
Population ageing represents one of the biggest demographic changes of the 21st century. This situation is characterized by increased longevity, with older people living longer and healthier. The new social and demographic patterns are affecting family types, intergenerational relationships and the social meaning of old age. At European level, data confirm the important weight of the elderly population; being more remarkable the population projections for that group in the short term.

Under these circumstances, it has become crucial to analyse the implications of this phenomenon and how it will affect intergenerational relationships and transfers. Several studies have addressed the key role of the family as an important factor in these dynamics and, more specifically, its function as a mechanism of intergenerational solidarity, especially in Mediterranean models, where the traditional family generates high levels of regulation and functional solidarity. However, more recently scholars have highlighted the concept of ambivalence, or the significance of conflicts in the process of understanding intergenerational relationships.

Data from The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) will be a first approach to show how these mechanisms (intergenerational ambivalence and solidarity) operate in Mediterranean context, focusing on the case of Spain. Although different authors have underlined the important role of the family in this context, we need to pay attention to the comparative aspects of different countries and their Welfare State systems to understand how, in light of the changing demographic trends, intergenerational solidarity and ambivalence could operate in different Welfare State regimes. Therefore, for its relevance and future prospects, in light of this changing demography and according to the different Welfare State regimes, we will study, from a comparative perspective, changing patterns of intergenerational transfers and new relationships between older people and their adult children.