by Gerlinde Verbist, Ron Diris, Frank Vandenbroucke
We analyse intergenerational solidarity within multigenerational (MG) households, and assess how the formation of these households is related to poverty across European countries. Using data from EU-SILC 2013, we first assess to what extent financial gains of the formation of the MG households are pro-child, pro-elderly or to the benefit of all. Next, we determine how the prevalence of MG households relates to poverty risks, and especially how (the sharing of) elderly income impacts child poverty. We analyse (1) the direct relationship between living in a MG household and child poverty using a logistic regression and (2) the contribution of elderly income to lowering child poverty risks, under different scenarios of cost-sharing and resource-sharing using a pre-post analysis. The results indicate that the formation of MG households operates mainly as solidarity from older to younger generations. Although not designed for this purpose, pensions thereby also serve as a function to alleviate child poverty in these countries where MG households are most prevalent.