Social Inequalities and Transfers between Generations: An Analysis across 116 European Regions

Saturday, 21 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Martina BRANDT, TU Dortmund, Germany
Christian DEINDL, University of Cologne, Dortmund, Germany
Family members help each other in case of need but also due to love and concern for each other. Thus, the family can be seen as a safety net, especially in times of crises. We know that most transfers flow between parents and their adult children and functional solidarity is a crucial dimension of intergenerational relations. Until now, however, little attendance has been given to exchange patterns between economically deprived family members within different policy contexts. We thus assess how transfers between older parents, respondents and their adult children are linked to social deprivation and inequality across Europe on the micro and the macro level; i.e. do socially and materially deprived households give less and receive more money and practical help, and do different levels of regional social inequality play a role? Using the material and social exclusion items from the fifth wave of SHARE, we focus the effects of deprivation on exchange patterns between three generations in a comparative analysis. We distinguish between different kinds and flows of assistance (financial, time, given and received), and consider the possible impacts of regional contexts on the links between solidarity and inequality. Multilevel models indicate that materially deprived respondents indeed give less but need more help from their adult children and thus lose their normal role as providers. Moreover, social policies matter: In regions with higher social inequality and lower GDP fewer transfers of time and money are given and received between three generations. Poor families in regions with low public social assistance are thus especially vulnerable.