Time-for-money exchanges between older and younger generations in Swedish families

Carin Lennartsson, Merril Silverstein, Johan Fritzell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Despite the maturation of welfare states, family solidarity continues to be strong and a growing body of research has shown that substantial financial transfers are passed from older to younger generations within the family. At the same time, family solidarity in terms of instrumental and social support is found to be mutual. This study examines eventual reciprocity in time-for-money exchanges, by combining two large-scale Swedish representative longitudinal studies. It analyzes how earlier social contacts (time) are related to financial transfers (money) and to what extent social class and gender differentials are visible. The findings indicate that parents provide economic transfers if they have more frequent social contact with any of their children, and that these time investments pay off for children who were of higher social class origins. In contrast, no support for gender-specific patterns is found. In conclusion, family solidarity seems to have different bases in different social strata.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-210
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Financial transfers
  • Gender
  • Reciprocity
  • Social class
  • Social contacts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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