Money and Time Transfers from Parents to Adult Children in the United States: New Evidence on Between and Within Family Differences from the June 2012 Survey of Consumers

Suzanne M. Bianchi, University of California, Los Angeles
Judith A. Seltzer, University of California, Los Angeles
Xi Song, University of California, Los Angeles

We use new survey data from the June 2012 Survey of Consumers to investigate inequality between and within U.S. families in short term and long term transfers from parents to their adult children. Respondents enumerated all of their adult children, reported the time and money transferred to each child in the past year, and estimated the assistance they had given for educational expenses, home purchase, or other large money transfers to each child since the child turned age 18. A sample of 314 parent respondents reported about 792 adult children. We address three questions: First, how prevalent are intergenerational (parent-to-child) transfers of time and money, and how large are these transfers? Second, what characteristics of parents, children and families affect who helps adult children with time or money? Third, how much inequality is there within families in transfers from parents to adult children, and what factors predict within family inequality?

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Presented in Session 48: Family Ties, Intergenerational Relationships and Caregiving