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Motives for Intergenerational Transfers: Evidence from Malaysia

Publication Abstract

Lillard, Lee A., and Robert Willis. 1997. "Motives for Intergenerational Transfers: Evidence from Malaysia." Demography, 34(1): 115-134.

In this paper we discuss a number of hypotheses about motives for intergenerational transfers within the family. We use data on time and money transfers between generations in Malaysia, where there is neither Social Security nor Medicare, to explore these hypotheses empirically. We find evidence supporting the hypotheses that children are an important source of old age security and that old age security is, in part, children's repayment for parental investments in their education. This repayment is partly a function of the children's income and, in the case of females, a function of their spouse's income. We also find evidence supporting the hypotheses that parents and children engage in the exchange of time help for money.

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