Intergenerational help and public assistance in Europe : a case of specialization?

Brandt, Martina

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-31087
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2011
The title of a journal, publication series: None
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > Sonstige - Fakultät für Rechtswissenschaft und Volkswirtschaftslehre
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des MEA (Mannheim Research Institute For the Economics of Aging) > MEA Discussion Papers
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Subject headings (SWD): Europa , Wohlfahrtsstaat , Mehrgenerationenmodell , Unterstützung , Älterer Mensch , Altenpflege , Familiensoziologie
Keywords (English): Generations , social policy , support , welfare state
Abstract: The comparative analysis of intergenerational support patterns based on SHARE, the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe, with about 30.000 respondents from eleven European countries reveals a distinct geographical distribution of private support patterns: In Northern Europe help between parents and children is very common, but typically little time-consuming. The contrary is true for Southern Europe, where comparably few support relations are very intense in terms of time. Central Western Europe lies in-between with average transfer rates and intensities. Using multilevel modeling, these different support patterns can be explained by the prevalence of public assistance according to the specialization hypothesis: With increased public transfers and social services, sporadic help is more likely (crowding in), and less time consuming support between generations (crowding out) occurs. Accordingly, most support is provided voluntarily in Northern Europe, whereas it is more often perceived as obligatory in Continental and Mediterranean countries.
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