To examine interactions among three generations in Guatemala using unusually rich longitudinal data over 35 years that will increase the research productivity of an existing project through added data collection that is not already funded by the existing project.
Rising life expectancy and falling fertility rates are leading to marked increases in the proportion of elderly persons worldwide. This phenomenon has received relatively little attention in many developing countries despite the fact that the proportion of the elderly in developing countries is predicted to treble by 2050. This increase coincides with slow progress in many developing countries in addressing poor levels of nutrition, schooling and health amongst young people. We are undertaking an “intergenerational” study to advance understanding of the roles played by public policy, private resources, preferences, exogenous shocks and markets – and the interactions amongst these factors – in the allocation of resources, and the consequences for well-being of these allocations, across three generations in Guatemala. A unique feature of the study is that it builds upon more than 35 years of data collection that is rich in information about home environment, growth, cognitive development, diet and morbidity. We will have data on the allocation of resources across three generations: G1 (elderly parents), G2 (their children, most of whom are now “middle-generation” parents) and G3 (grandchildren of G1). This is the first study to link prospectively collected data on investments in children’s human capital with subsequent interactions and investments between these individuals when they are adults, their offspring and their aging parents. This proposal requests supplementary funding for the on-going work summarized above to order to (1) expand the number of G1 subjects to be interviewed; (2) include an additional survey instrument, Ravens Progressive Matrices, to be administered to G3s; and (3) support the participation for six weeks in the data collection process of Erica Soler Hampejsek, a first-year Demography graduate student. These processes, further, will permit expanded networking with our colleagues in Guatemala. The result will be a significantly enriched data set for investigation of interactions among three generations in Guatemala, involvement of Soler-Hampejsek in this research project as part of her graduate research, and extended networking with our Latin American colleagues on this project in Guatemala.