Transfer Behavior within the Family: Results from the Asset and Health Dynamics Survey

24 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2000 Last revised: 29 May 2008

See all articles by Kathleen M. McGarry

Kathleen M. McGarry

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert F. Schoeni

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Survey Research Center

Date Written: April 1995

Abstract

If an individual falls on hard times, can he rely on his family for financial support? In view of proposed reductions in public assistance programs, it is important to understand the mechanisms through which families provide support for their members. In this paper we provide evidence that intra-family transfers are compensatory, directed disproportionally to less well-off members. These results hold both for the incidence of transfers and for the amounts. Within a given year, adult children in the lowest income category are 6 percentage points more likely to receive a financial transfer from their parents, and on average they receive over $300 more than siblings in the highest income category. The data used in this study, the new Asset and Health Dynamics Survey (AHEAD), contain information on all children in the family. Thus we are able to estimate models which control for unobserved differences across families. Our results are robust to these specifications. Additionally, we do not find evidence that parents provide financial assistance to their children in exchange for caregiving.

Suggested Citation

McGarry, Kathleen M. and Schoeni, Robert F., Transfer Behavior within the Family: Results from the Asset and Health Dynamics Survey (April 1995). NBER Working Paper No. w5099. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=225877

Kathleen M. McGarry (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 951477
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1477
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310-206-2833 (Phone)
310-825-9528 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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Robert F. Schoeni

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Survey Research Center ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bschoeni/

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