Caring for dependent parents: Altruism, exchange or family norm?
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The purpose of this paper is to test alternative models of long-term caring motives. We consider three main motives: pure altruism, exchange and family norm. Our database is the second wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) which allows linking almost perfectly and with complete information children and their parents’ characteristics. Comparing the empirical results to the theoretical models developed, it appears that, depending on the regions analyzed, long-term caring is driven by moderate altruism or by family norm, while Alessie et al. (De Economist 162(2):193–213, 2014), also using SHARE data, stress the importance of exchange motive in intergenerational transfers.
KeywordsLong-term care Intergenerational transfers Informal care Altruism Exchange Family norm
JEL ClassificationD13 J14 D64
We are grateful to anonymous referees for their constructive comments and suggestions that significantly improved the paper. We also thank Eric Bonsang, Anne Laferrère and the participants of the fifth SHARE user conference in Luxembourg and CRESUS project Mid-Term Workshop in Antwerp for their helpful comments. We appreciate the methodological suggestions made by Vincent Starck, Bernard Lejeune and Julien Jacqmin. The authors remain responsible for all remaining errors. The financial support from the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) research project CRESUS is gratefully acknowledged. This paper uses data from SHARE wave 4 release 1.1.1, as of March 28, 2013 (DOI: 10.6103/SHARE.w4.111) or SHARE waves 1 and 2 release 2.6.0, as of November 29, 2013 (DOIs: 10.6103/SHARE.w1.260 and 10.6103/SHARE.w2.260) or SHARELIFE release 1.0.0, as of November 24, 2010 (DOI: 10.6103/SHARE.w3.100). The SHARE data collection has been primarily funded by the European Commission through the fifth Framework Programme (project QLK6-CT-2001-00360 in the thematic programme Quality of Life), through the 6th Framework Programme (projects SHARE-I3, RII-CT-2006-062193, COMPARE, CIT5-CT-2005-028857, and SHARELIFE, CIT4-CT-2006-028812) and through the 7th Framework Programme (SHARE-PREP, N ∘211909, SHARE-LEAP, No. 227822 and SHARE M4, No. 261982). Additional funding from the US National Institute on Aging (U01 AG09740-13S2, P01 AG005842, P01 AG08291, P30 AG12815, R21 AG025169, Y1-AG-4553-01, IAG BSR06-11 and OGHA 04-064) and the German Ministry of Education and Research as well as from various national sources is gratefully acknowledged (see www.share-project.org for a full list of funding institutions).
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Conflict of interests
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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