Transfers from Migrants to Their Children: Evidence That Altruism and Cultural Factors Matter

Wolff, Fran├žois-Charles; Spilerman, Seymour; Attias-Donfut, Claudine

This paper focuses on the determinants of financial inter vivos transfers by migrants living in France in 2003 to their adult children. From a theoretical viewpoint, such transfers may be explained either by altruism or by exchange. While parents would direct their assistance to their less well off children under altruism, support should be channeled to children who live nearby their parents under the exchange motive. We assess the relevance of these two motives using the French PRI survey. Unequal sharing is frequently observed and children are more likely to receive financial transfers when they are in poor circumstance, but not necessarily when living in proximity to parents. We also emphasize the role of cultural factors as determinants of the parental allocation among children. Muslim parents, in particular, are more likely to make transfers to sons than to daughters.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy
Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Columbia University
ISERP Working Papers, 07-13
Published Here
August 16, 2010


December 2007.