Migration and intergenerational solidarity in Europe

Ronny König, Universität Zürich
Bettina Isengard, Universität Zürich
Marc Szydlik, Universität Zürich

Intergenerational transfers of money, time and space are important manifestations of functional solidarity in contemporary societies. Especially in times of societal crises and the withdrawal of the welfare state, intergenerational support is an important characteristic of (grand)parent–child relationships. Previous research on solidarity patterns between family generations has revealed considerable cohesion and support in Europe. However, previous empirical studies have mainly addressed the causes and consequences of intergenerational solidarity patterns of natives, the population of foreign origin has often been neglected or limited to a specific (ethnic) population. Against the current background of contemporary multi-ethnic and transnational societies, the question of differences between natives and migrants is particularly crucial. Therefore, our proposed contribution focuses on (a) differences and similarities in functional solidarity between migrant, interethnic and native families in Europe, (b) differences within migrant families, as well as (c) variations between European countries. The empirical analyses are based on the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) including 17 European countries. Overall, our multi-level analyses prove that European family generations are strongly connected by direct financial support, indirect monetary help in the form of coresidence, and through time-related help such as (grandchild) care and assistance. More specifically, there are also striking differences between migrants and natives as well as between various migrant groups. Hereby, clear differences in the extent of functional solidarity between generations become apparent when considering the complexity of migration.

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Presented in Session 97: Determinants of intergenerational transfers