Multi-Generational Exchanges in Taiwan and the Philippines: A Social Network Approach
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Resource exchanges among multiple family generations are examined using social network measures. A specific focus is on pathways through which older adults transfer resources from one generation to another. The paper uses data that provide rich and comparable information on transfers in family networks: the 1996 Philippine Survey of the Near Elderly and Elderly and the 1989 Taiwan Survey of Health and Living Status of the Elderly. Measures of the direction and intensity of exchange are examined to identify similarities and differences between the two countries, and likely explanations for these patterns are discussed. Findings show that although the availability of and coresidence with specific types of family generations appear to be quite similar in both countries, there are substantial differences in the amount and nature of family exchanges. On most measures, older persons in the Philippines are more likely to be engaged in transfer activity, and to be exchanging resources with a greater number of family members across a wider variety of relations.