Economic and Social Responsibilities of the "Sandwich Generation" as a Function of Welfare Regimes

A Tur-Sinai, M Silverstein, N Lewin-Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


One characteristic of the population aging process is the emergence of the “sandwich generation,” one that has both living parents and children. The study breaks new ground by focusing on the question of this generation’s social and economic responsibilities. It asks whether there is evidence of the granting of material and nonmaterial support by the “sandwich generation” to its parents and children, and whether variance exists in the range of predictors of the likelihood of providing such support. The study makes use of data from Waves 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 of SHARE-Europe and compares them among different welfare regimes on the basis of Esping-Anderson’s (1990) paradigm. Where giving financial support by the “sandwich generation” is concerned, it is found that 28.2 percent gave such support to children only, 1.4 percent to parents only, and 63.6 percent to no one. As for social support, 7.2 percent of members of the “sandwich generation” gave it only to children, 26.7 percent only to parents, and 53.3 percent to no one. Financial support for elder parents is explained mainly as a corollary of economic traits of the sandwich generation such as education, wealth, or presence in the labor force. Social support for elderly parents, in contrast, is explained, in addition to the foregoing, by traits such as parents’ health, parents’ household structure, or the existence of an alternative at parental responsibility, reflected in the number of children and the sandwich generation’s need to look after its grandchildren.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7
Number of pages1
JournalInnovation in Aging
Issue numbersuppl_1
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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