Research Group on Aging and the Life Course (FALL)

Research: ! Private intergenerational transfers


The Sociology of Familial Exchange in Later Life:
A Comparative German-Israeli Analysis of the Determinants of Intergenerational Transfers

Funded by The German Israeli Foundation (GIF), 2005-2006

In association with:

The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA)


The aim of this project is 1) to create a comparative and multidisciplinary German-Israeli data set on the elderly by building upon the EU multi-national Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), 2) to examine the factors that predict private intergenerational transfers in a cross-cultural German-Israeli comparison and within each society, and 3) to estimate the ability of German and Israeli societies to meet the social security needs of their future adult and aging cohorts, based on the contribution of intergenerational families as providers of resources and care.
Potential predictors of intergenerational transfer behavior that emerge from the literature include the sociodemographic background of the family members, their health status, personal resources, savings toward retirement, as well as public policies for intergenerational support. Multivariate analysis will allow for a systematic comparative analysis of these potential predictors and in-depth analysis of intergenerational transfer behavior within each society.
The study is innovative in that it builds upon the first-ever European cross-national survey of populations age 50 and over, with particular attention given to methodological issues of comparative data collection. It is unique in that it seeks to identify through multivariate analysis the personal, familial and societal factors that have an impact on the future sustenance of aging populations in Western societies.


Prof. Dr. Martin Kohli (Projektleiter)
Dr. Harald Künemund (wiss. Mitarbeiter)
Claudia Vogel (wiss. Mitarbeiterin)
Thomas Lux (stud. Hilfskraft)

Prof. Howard Litwin (Projektleiter)
Dr. Sharon Shiovitz-Ezra (wiss. Mitarbeiterin)

Main publications

Litwin, Howard, Claudia Vogel, Harald Künemund & Martin Kohli (2008): The balance of intergenerational exchange: Correlates of net transfers in Germany and Israel. In: European Journal of Ageing, 5, 91-102.

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