Measuring Intergenerational Financial Support: Analysis of Two Cross-National Surveys

Tom Emery, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Stipica Mudrazija, University of Texas at Austin

Through the consideration of the conceptualization, design and sampling associated with intergenerational financial transfers instruments, this paper argues that there are significant differences in the way the Generations and Gender Programme (GGP) and the Survey for Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) conceptualize and measure intergenerational financial transfers. For example, the questions regarding financial transfers in SHARE and the GGP use differing prompts, reference periods, caps and sampling procedures and these result in very different levels of transfers across countries. These differences have substantive implications and the findings go against commonly held assumptions about intergenerational instruments, suggesting that substantive research would be best served by a reevaluation of how financial transfers should be measured. The conclusion details the potential consequences of these limitations and how they might be better addressed by social surveys such as SHARE, GGP, the Health and Retirement Study and Longitudinal Household studies in the future.

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Presented in Session 112: Intergenerational Structure and Transfers