What are the intergenerational resource transfer burdens over the working life of parents compared to non-parents in Europe? We use National Transfer and National Time Transfer Accounts to comprehensively estimate these burdens for twelve European Union member states around 2010. Going beyond public transfers, we also value two statistically less visible transfer types in the family realm: of market goods (money) and of unpaid household labor (time). The transfer packages of parents and non-parents differ radically. Non-parents contribute almost exclusively to public transfers. But parents, and only parents, additionally provide still larger familial transfers: mothers mainly time, fathers mainly money. Estimating resource transfer stocks over the working life, we find that the average parental/non-parental contribution ratio flips from 0.73 (public transfers alone) to 2.66 (all three transfers together). The implicit tax rates de facto imposed thereby on rearing children are multiples of the value-added tax rates in place on consumption goods. Especially in view of low rates of fertility and rising rates of intentional childlessness on an aging continent, the magnitude of these asymmetric transfer burdens carries multiple implications for sociological and policy debates. For instance, it raises the question whether European societies stealthily tax their own reproduction too heavily
About Pieter Vanhuysse
PhD (LSE) Professor Pieter Vanhuysse is a Full Professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Management and the Danish Centre for Welfare Studies (DaWS) at SDU.
He is also founding Board Member of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics at the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences (CPOP-SAMF). He holds degrees from the University of Leuven (MA in economics; Certificate in philosophy) and the London School of Economics (MSc and PhD in government). Prior to joining SDU, he was Deputy Director and Director of Research at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, a United Nations-affiliated thinktank in Vienna.
This lecture takes place at DIAS seminaroom
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