Intergenerational Transfers during the Great Recession: The Relationship between Marital Status and the Familial Safety Net

Megan M. Way, Babson College

Is there a relationship between marital status and the type of familial economic support received during times of hardship, such as a recession? Family-based support networks provide an important safety net, but are particularly tested during a recession if the recession’s impact afflicts potential recipients and donors alike. Are there observed differences in how the safety net works for married vs. divorced couples, or for other marital statuses, during a recession? Using panel data from the American Life Panel (N = 2626), I investigate whether familial cash transfers during the broad-based Great Recession showed different patterns based on marital status of potential givers and receivers, and how family transfers related to other means of coping, such as savings or social insurance for these groups.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Marriage, Unions, Families and Households