Intergenerational transfers in Taiwan: how are elderly supported in nuclear versus extended households?

An-Chi Tung, Academia Sinica
Mun Sim Lai, Monash University Sunway Campus

This paper investigates how the elderly of different living arrangements are supported, using the Taiwan data in 1998 and 2006. Old-age economic security is a pressing issue for any aging society, and there exits a vast literature on social security and familial transfers. Previous studies, however, have often relied on incomplete data of elderly income and consumption, particularly on intra-familial transfers. The National Transfer Accounts framework provides an effective solution by presenting a systematic and comprehensive set of estimates of the lifecycle of earning and spending by age group of individuals. With this new methodology, we find a couple of striking contrasts between elderly in extended and nuclear households in Taiwan: the former group depend more on inter-familial than on intra-familial transfers, and the latter rely more on social security income and own asset income than the former. These differences will be explained by of institution, cultural norm, and self-selection.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Health and ageing