Grandparents to Grandchildren Transfers: The Potential Importance to Younger Families’ Economic Stability

Karen Holden, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Angela Fontes, University of Wisconsin at Madison

We explore the time and money contributions grandparents make to grandchildren and their families and the potential importance of transfers to the economic well-being of the younger family. We use data on grandparents (from the Health and Retirement Survey) to examine the pattern and predictors of transfers from grandparents to grandchildren and their families of time, financial support, both, or neither. We are particularly interested in the role of the relative economic status of the younger and older family units, the prior support recipient experience of grandparents, and work and earnings of the family units. Grandparents providing contributions were younger, more educated, relatively better off than their children’s family, and more likely to still be in the labor force. Grandparents who received help when young, including for their own education were more likely to give financial assistance, even when controlling for families’ relative economic status.

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Presented in Poster Session 2