The role of private-level transfers in maintaining solidarity across generations – support from child to ageing parent in New Zealand

Sarah Hillcoat-Nalletamby, University of Waikato
A. Dharmalingam, University of Waikato

In New Zealand, the thesis of generational conflict associated with population ageing has focused on tensions that may arise if public-level transfers between generations cannot be sustained, but minimal attention has been paid to the role private transfers at family and kinship levels may play as mechanisms of intergenerational solidarity. This paper redresses this imbalance by focusing on financial, material and emotional transfers provided by midlife individuals to their ageing parents. Empirical analysis uses data from the 1997 New Zealand survey Transactions in the Mid-Life Family, covering 750 individuals aged 40-54 and their ageing parents and own offspring. Multivariate logistic regression is used to estimate the relationship between support received by ageing parents and selected covariates for all three generations. Results are compared with previous analysis which focused on transfers from mid-life parent to child, to provide theoretical insights into the nature and potential asymmetry of private transfers across generations.

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Presented in Session 24: Intergenerational relations in the context of population ageing