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Abstract:

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CASE Paper
Changes in the Living Arrangements of Elderly People in Greece: 1974-1999
Eleni Karagiannaki
November 2005
Paper No' CASE 104:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: J14; I3


Tags: elderly; intergenerational living arrangements; greece; poverty

During the period 1974-1999 the percentage of elderly living with their children in Greece reduced from 55 per cent to about 32 per cent. In this paper we examine determinants of the decrease in intergenerational co-residence among Greek elderly people and their adult children and its implications for economic well-being. We find that the main factor that has contributed to the change in the living arrangements has been the increase in the pension incomes. Although income was the most important force driving the increase in the independent living among the elderly Greeks throughout the period under examination its contribution to the change reduced significantly during the 1990s. As the importance of incomes in accounting for changes in co-residence rates among the elderly reduces over time so the contribution of the unobserved year effect rises. This finding points to the role of changing preferences in determining intergenerational co-residence. Despite the substantial decrease in intergenerational co-residence we find that the family in Greece still plays a very significant role in protecting the poor elderly people.