Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder? Residential Proximity, Migration, and Intergenerational Exchanges in Romania
Boroka Bo, University of California, Berkeley
Codrina Rada, University of Utah
Studies that examine bidirectional intergenerational support transfers in developing countries are virtually non-existent, along with the effect migration has on these exchanges. The consideration of a bidirectional model when thinking about the relationship between migration and aging reveals ways in which institutional and cultural patterns shape transfers. We examine circumstances in which older adults: receive assistance; provide support; engage in bidirectional transfers; along with the variables that influence the exchanges; as these scenarios are shaped by and influence the life-chances of both generations. Recent data from Romania allows us to illuminate determinants influencing informal support transfers between the generations. Multivariate equations predict exchange flows based on migration status of the children and the location of the nearest child, highlighting potential vulnerabilities guiding support. Results suggest the need for concern for the many unsupported elders, with altruism and corporate motives driving existing support exchanges, in addition to migration shaping the flows.