The Gender Dimension of Intergenerational Transfers in Europe

Bernhard Hammer, Vienna Institute of Demography
Tanja Istenic, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics
Sonja Spitzer, Vienna Institute of Demography
Lili Vargha, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, Budapest

The paper analyzes the organization of intergenerational transfers by gender in European countries. We investigate if there is a gender gap in the total size of transfers, including public transfers and private transfers, considering contributions as well as benefits. There are concerns that the organization of the pension system puts women at a disadvantage. Women provide most of the transfers in form of household work and childcare, but contribute less to pension system and therefore have considerably lower pensions than men do. However, there is a range of other type of transfers and the higher life expectancy and lower pension age in some of the countries works in favour of women. Using National Transfer Accounts data on age- and gender-specific transfers in 2010, we calculate gender-specific measures of lifetime transfer contributions and benefits. We find that in countries where women devote more time to production activities than men, the value of total net transfer contributions is considerably higher for women. In more gender-egalitarian countries, the value for men is higher, because of a larger share of paid production being redistributed between genders and generations. We find a gender gap at the disadvantage of men in net transfer benefits at old age when the higher life expectancy of women is accounted for.

Presented in Session 117: Pensions and Intergenerational Transfers