Care and Income Redistributive Cycles in the Lives of Europeans

Summary and overall aim

The aim of CIRCLE is to provide new empirical evidence of the impact of the interaction between the economic and demographic changes and the welfare systems on the distribution of the resources, rights and responsibilities between generations. In many EU countries, welfare provisions addressed to older people are pay as you go financed and fast population ageing boosts redistribution from the young to the old. However, compensatory mechanisms redistributing resources from the old to the young are often implemented at intra-household level, mainly through inter-vivos transfers and informal care provisions. The analysis takes both redistributive flows into account and covers a variety of EU welfare state models, giving a strong base for generalizing the results and deriving useful policy implications. Work-Package 1 evaluates the intergenerational redistribution of resources induced by the major provisions of the European welfare systems addressed to older people. Work-Package 2 investigates the informal intra-household mechanisms of intergenerational insurance of income and care risks in European countries in the last ten years. Work-Package 3 investigates the perceptions and comprehension that individuals have of the aims of the main welfare provisions and of their implications in term of intergenerational relationships. A new survey will be run in Belgium, Italy and Spain allowing new research on this unexplored issue. Work-Package 4 designs a cogent dissemination strategy.

Project details

CIRCLE is one of the projects that is funded in the second joint call on ‘Welfare, wellbeing and demographic change: Understanding welfare models’

Project duration

15 March 2017 – 31 October 2021


  • Collegio Carlo Alberto, Italy: Elsa Fornero (coordinator)
  • University of Alcala, Spain: Olga Canto
  • University of Antwerp, Belgium: Tim Goedemé / Gerlinde Verbist