Economic support by own parents: Does the welfare state assure the basic security among young adults or does the parental support increase polarization?
Department of Social Policy University of Helsinki Helsinki, Finland
The idea of retrenchment has been prevailing in the post-industrial welfare states since 1980s. In Finland the tendency of retrenchment strengthened after 1990s regression. In the 21st century it seems that especially those who live on a basic security are in a vulnerable economic position because these welfare benefits have substantially fallen behind the earned-income. In other words, the allowances of working-age people, who live without earned-income or earnings-related allowances, has been almost on the same level since 1990s regression. Only in some allowances the impact of inflation has been considered.
Especially economic situation of young adults have become weaker in Finland since 1990s regression. Poverty among young adults is often related both to the ongoing studies and insecurity in the labour markets. It also seems that the Finnish welfare state has tried to shift some of its earlier responsibilities back to the family of origin. However, parents' ability to give economic support to their adult children varies a lot, as well as the cultural climate of giving support among the family members. It is often argued, that generational support is based on need, and this seems to be, at least partially, true. This paper focuses on next research question: Are those young adults whose income is largely consisted of basic security receiving more economical support from their parents, than those young adults who are earning their income by working or getting earnings-related allowances?
Received economic support is investigated with the help of a survey-data. The data was collected by Statistics Finland in 2007, and it consists of questionnaires filled by 1115 Finns born in 1945-50 and their 1435 adult children. Some register-based data was also merged into the survey-data, such us individual level information about incomes and education. At least to preliminary research results supports the assumption that young adults who are on basic security are receiving more frequently economic support from their parents. Further analysis will give more detailed results.
Basic security contains: labour market subsidy, basic unemployment allowance, sickness allowance, maternity/paternity/parental allowances, home care subsidy, disability pension, family pension, social assistance and student's grants and housing supplements.