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Money or space? Intergenerational transfers in a comparative perspective

Bettina Isengard, Ronny König and Marc Szydlik

Housing Studies, 2018, vol. 33, issue 2, 178-200

Abstract: The provision of living space as well as financial transfers are important elements of functional solidarity between parents and adult children in contemporary European societies. However, prior research has revealed substantial discrepancies not only within but also between countries. Against this background, this paper investigates the relevance of money and space transfers and the connections between the two forms of support simultaneously using the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. The empirical results indicate that the needs of adult children as well as the opportunities of their parents are important determinants of support. Furthermore, parents in southern European countries with low levels of public family expenditures predominantly support their adult children by providing living space, whereas parents in northern European countries with more generous welfare states give direct financial support. Differences in country-specific transfer patterns can theoretically and empirically be traced back to welfare state support in general and national housing regimes and markets in particular.

Date: 2018
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Housing Studies is currently edited by Chris Leishman, Moira Munro, Ray Forrest, Alex Schwartz, Hal Pawson and John Flint

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