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Intergenerational transfers and productive ageing in a cross-national comparative perspective

Floridi, Ginevra (2019) Intergenerational transfers and productive ageing in a cross-national comparative perspective. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00003999


Internationally, concerns with the implications of population ageing have led to growing attention being paid to the economic contributions and dependency of older adults. Research on intergenerational support investigates older adults’ exchanges of money and time with their family members, while productive ageing refers to their economic contributions to the broader society. So far, research on these topics at the aggregate level has mainly focussed on Europe and the United States (US). Comparisons of intergenerational transfer regimes are usually made between welfare states in Europe, while productive ageing is a US-centred concept that is not necessarily translatable to societies with different socio-cultural characteristics. In addition, only a few studies of individual-level relationships link intergenerational family transfers with older adults’ participation in economically productive roles. This thesis addresses the gaps in the literature cited above with four empirical papers on intergenerational support, productive ageing and the interrelations between them in a cross-national comparative perspective. I use data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing, and a conjoint survey experiment. In the first paper, I compare transfers of financial, practical and coresidential support between parents aged 50 and above and their children in Italy and South Korea, two countries with similarly familistic approaches to welfare but different levels of social protection towards older adults. The second empirical paper develops a method for weighting and aggregating indicators into a composite scale based on a conjoint experiment on experts, which I use to compare operationalisations of productive ageing between a group of Italian and a group of South Korean academics. In the third paper, I compare the factors associated with participation in paid work and informal caregiving among middle-aged and older Italian and South Korean parents, focussing on the role of socioeconomic status and transfers of support with adult children. In the fourth paper, I study the association between daily grandchild care and grandparents’ labour supply in Europe with a focus on gender and socioeconomic differences. Overall, the findings highlight the role of country-level policy and culture as well as gender, socioeconomic resources and family transfers in influencing older adults’ contributions to welfare and the economy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2019 Ginevra Floridi
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Lauderdale, Benjamin E. and Jenkins, Stephen and Grundy, Emily

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