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The impact of intergenerational financial transfers on health and wellbeing outcomes: A longitudinal study

Rachel Ong, Toan Nguyen and Garth Kendall

Social Science & Medicine, 2018, vol. 214, issue C, 179-186

Abstract: This paper estimates the impacts of intergenerational financial transfers on the physical health, mental health and perceived financial security of Australian males and females. We distinguish between two key sources of intergenerational financial transfers – inheritances and inter vivos parental cash transfers. Taking nationally representative data from the 2001–2015 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey, we develop a two-stage modelling strategy that controls for potential bias in reported health and wellbeing responses that arise due to unobserved heterogeneity. In the first stage, propensity score matching is applied to achieve matched treatment and control groups, where the former is comprised of intergenerational financial transfer beneficiaries while the latter is made up of non-beneficiaries with a matched set of characteristics to the beneficiaries. This is followed by the application of regression models that further control for unobservable heterogeneity, so that the coefficients on the intergenerational financial transfer predictors can be attributed to the effect of the transfers on health and wellbeing. We do not find systematic evidence of a causal link between receipt of intergenerational financial transfers and health and wellbeing outcomes. This applies to both inheritances and inter vivos parental cash transfers, and for both males and females.

Keywords: Intergenerational transfers; Health; Wellbeing; Inheritance; Parental transfers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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