This article uses a comprehensive theoretical framework to explain why parents send money to particular children, and examines whether intergenerational solidarity is shaped by spending on various welfare domains or provisions as a percentage of gross domestic product. The theoretical model at the level of parents and children distinguishes parental resources and children's needs as the factors most likely to influence intergenerational money transfers. Differences in state spending on various welfare domains are then used to hypothesise in which countries children with specific needs are most likely to receive a transfer. For parents we hypothesise in which countries parents with specific available resources are most likely to send a transfer. We use data from the first wave of the Survey of Health and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to analyse the influence of welfare-state provisions on the likelihood of intergenerational transfers in ten European countries. The results indicate that, in line with our expectations, the likelihood of a transfer being made is the outcome of an intricate resolution of the resources (ability) of the parents and the needs of a child. Rather large differences between countries in money transfers were found. The results suggest that, at least with reference to cross-generational money transfers, no consistent differences by welfare state regime were found.

European welfare states, intergenerational transfers, money transfers,
Ageing and Society
Department of Sociology

Schenk, N, Dykstra, P.A, & Maas, I. (2010). The role of European welfare states in intergenerational money transfers: A micro-level perspective. Ageing and Society, 30(8), 1315–1342. doi:10.1017/S0144686X10000401