Who Takes Care of Whom in the U.S.? Evidence from Matrices of Time Transfers by Age and Sex

Denys Dukhovnov, Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY)
Emilio Zagheni, University of Washington

We offer estimates of time transfers, by age and sex, related to informal childcare and adult care in the U.S. We developed methods to extract both intra-household and inter-household transfers from the American Time Use Survey (2011-2013) and the recently-added Eldercare Roster. We generated matrices of time flows by age and sex for the general U.S. population and for the so-called “sandwich generation”. Our results indicate that most time transfers flow downwards from parents to young children. Grandmothers spend more time with newborn grandchildren, whereas grandfathers spend more time with slightly older grandchildren. The time produced by the sandwich generation is directed towards a more diverse population spectrum, including large transfers to spouses. Estimates of time produced and consumed by the population with various demographic characteristics establish a foundation for extrapolating the degree to which the demand for care services will be met in the years to come.

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Presented in Session 19: Intergenerational Impacts on Health and Demographic Events