Essays on Intergenerational Transfers in Older Families

TitleEssays on Intergenerational Transfers in Older Families
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsAzuma, M
Date Published2005
UniversityThe University of Wisconsin - Madison
CityUnited States -- Wisconsin
KeywordsAdult children, Employment and Labor Force, Healthcare, Methodology

In a series of three essays, I examine intergenerational transfers between elderly parents and their adult children. In the first chapter, I examine the extent to which informal care from family members substitutes for nursing home care. I build a model of families' care decisions for their elderly relatives. My model predicts that nursing home admission is postponed for elderly persons with greater access to informal care. It also predicts that elderly individuals with greater access to informal care enter nursing homes only after their care needs become more severe. To test the predictions of my model, I use data from the 1993-2000 waves of the Assets and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) study. I find that elderly individuals who are married and have more daughters enter nursing homes significantly later. I also find that elderly individuals who are married and are living with their adult children before nursing home entry face significantly higher mortality risk subsequent to nursing home entry. In the second chapter, I examine whether the generosity of the public transfer program for low-income elderly persons, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), displaces private support from family members in the form of coresidence. I use data from the first wave of the AHEAD study. My findings indicate that a $1,000 increase in SSI annual benefits reduces the probability of coresidence by 0.41 percent, implying a small effect of the SSI program on coresidence for the low-income elderly individuals. In the third chapter, coauthor Professor Meta Brown and I examine the motives for holding a trust, using data from the 1995-2002 waves of the Health and Retirement Study. We argue that among households with living trusts, 83 percent of living trusts are created to avoid a probate. We find that few households that are subject to federal estate tax take advantage of living trusts to minimize the estate tax. We also find that among households with estate trusts, 70 percent of estate trusts are created to restrict consumption pattern of the surviving spouse and to guarantee that assets are transferred to their adult children.

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Short TitleEssays on Intergenerational Transfers in Older Families
Citation Key6204