Double (Dis)Advantage: The Cumulative Role of Parental Resources and the Institutional Context in Intergenerational Time and Money Transfers

Ariane Bertogg*, Diana Roxana Galos

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


This study addresses an underexplored mechanism of social inequality transmission, namely, intergenerational transfers from older parents to their adult children in terms of (i) money and (ii) time (specifically, devoted to sporadic or regular childcare). A yet unaddressed question in the literature is whether these two resources are transferred in a cumulative (i.e., both resources being transferred) or compensatory (i.e., only one resource being transferred) manner and how such cumulation or compensation depends on parental income and the wider institutional context. Filling this lacuna, this study investigates whether grandparents who have fewer financial resources compensate for their lack of opportunities to provide financial transfers to their adult children by transferring more time to their children, or whether higher-income parents are more likely to transfer both more time and money than lower-income parents, resulting in greater advantage among their receiving children (cumulation). Drawing on six waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, this study analyzes transfers from more than 53,000 grandparents aged 50 or older to their adult children across European countries. The findings show that higher-income parents, relative to lower-income parents, are more likely to provide both time (more precisely, sporadic childcare) and financial support to their adult children, yielding evidence for the cumulation of transfers. Further, evidence of a double (dis)advantage emerges, as social gradients in (financial and regular time) transfers are more pronounced in contexts with smaller public expenditures on formal childcare and a more unequal distribution of household incomes.

TidsskriftSocial Forces
Sider (fra-til)1269-1287
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2024


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