Essays in Intergenerational Transfers

TitleEssays in Intergenerational Transfers
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsWay, MMcDonald
Academic DepartmentEconomics
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
UniversityBoston College
KeywordsAdult children, Expectations

Chapter 1. Intergenerational Transfer Inflows to Adult Children of Divorce. Do adult children of divorce receive less money from their parents than children of intact unions? Are they less likely to receive parental help for buying a house, starting a business or weathering a financial crisis? Though there is evidence that an individual divorced parent gives less to his child than he would give if he were married to his child's other parent, no study has examined the transfers given by both divorced parents. I approach the question of transfers to adult children of divorce from a fresh angle by asking not, "How much did the parent give?" but instead, "How much did the child get?" I also examine the correlation between parents' remarriage and transfers received. Using data from the 1988 wave of the PSID, I find that parental divorce and remarriage are uncorrelated with the incidence of a transfer. Within the select group of children who receive a transfer, however, divorce is correlated with an increased transfer amount, while a father's remarriage is correlated with a decreased amount. Chapter 2. The Correlation Between Subjective Parental Longevity and Intergenerational Transfers. Are parental financial transfers to adult children correlated with subjective parental longevity? Despite rapid and continuing increases in life expectancy, no previous study has looked at transfers in relation to parents' opinions of how long they will live. This paper uses the subjective survival probability data included in the Health and Retirement Study to examine this potential correlation for a select group of unmarried older parents. For mothers only, I consistently find modest positive correlations between subjective longevity and anticipated future inter vivos transfers and bequests. For fathers, I find a nonlinear relationship between subjective longevity and anticipated future inter vivos transfers. I discuss the potential reasons for these descriptive results and some further questions that arise from them.

Endnote Keywords

Subjective Probabilities of Survival

Endnote ID


Citation Key6146