Intergenerational Transfers within Families of International Immigrants in the United States and France: A Comparison of Latin Americans and North Africans

Merril Silverstein, University of Southern California
Claudine Attias-Donfut, Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Viellesse (CNAV)
François-Charles Wolff, Université de Nantes and Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

We examine intergenerational financial transfers made and received by mature (50+) immigrants in the U.S. and France, focusing on Latin Americans and North Africans. Data about France come from the 2002-2003 Immigrants and Retirement Survey, as well as the French component of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement. Data about the U.S. come from the 2004 Health and Retirement Study. Our findings reveal that the foreign-born in each country were more likely to provide transfers than their native-born counterparts. This differential was driven primarily by the elevated propensity of immigrants to provide to aging parents. Immigrants in both nations were more likely to provide cash gifts than they were to receive them. We conclude that because immigrants must balance the demands of older and younger generations, they face challenges to investing sufficiently in their own well-being.

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Presented in Session 87: Generational Exchanges and Relationships: Adult Children and Elderly Parents