Reciprocity and the Provision of Personal Care by Adult Children to Their Elderly Parents in Mexico

Claire M. Noel-Miller, University of Wisconsin at Madison

I use data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study to consider the role of reciprocity in the provision of care by adult children to their frail elderly parents in Mexico. This paper a) explores the effects of prior parental transfers of money and time on a child’s probability of providing personal care and b) considers the possibility that frail elderly parents may themselves be reciprocating the care they have received by providing time or money to children who previously assisted them. Results show that receipt of prior parental financial assistance is associated with an increased probability of care-giving by an adult child. Adult children were also found to reciprocate for the prior receipt of time from a parent, although the magnitude of this latter effect was smaller. However, parents were not found to be more likely to transfer time or money to children having previously provided care for them.

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Presented in Session 30: Family Support, Social Welfare and Population Aging in Latin America