Thematic issue: The legacy of Corrado Gini in population studies

Modeling transfers of unpaid resources by age and sex within the framework of input-output models

Emilio Zagheni


This article discusses estimates of time transfers, by age and sex, related to informal childcare and adult care in the United States. Matrices of time transfers estimated from the American Time Use Study (2011-2013) are used to evaluate structural patterns of inequality in time flows by age and sex, and as input for a model of time transfers based on input-output theory. The results indicate that: i) patterns of transfers are unevenly distributed across the life course; ii) the largest flows are downwards, from parents to young children and, secondly, from grandparents to grandchildren, with notable sex differences; iii) a substantial amount of time transfers are intra-generational, to spouses; iv) changes in demand for time from the elderly have a strong leverage on the overall pattern of time flows: doubling the number of people 75 years and older in the US would lead, all else constant, to an increase in total time production that is about 12 times bigger than what would result from doubling the population size in the age group 25-39 years.

Emilio ZAGHENI,  Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Washington, USA. E-mail:


Time Use, Inter-generational transfers, Intra-generational transfers, Inequality, Demographic change, Input-output models.

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ISSN: 2035-5556

Reg. Tribunale di Roma n. 3321/54