Family support or social support? The role of clan culture
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This paper examines the impact of cultural norms on arrangements made for old-age support. Using data from a recent national household survey in China, I show that clan culture is significantly associated with a set of individual values about the purpose of childbearing. I then find that, among older people in rural China, clan culture is positively related to birth rates and the likelihood of having a son, coresidence with adult or married sons, and receiving financial transfers from non-coresident children. Finally, I find a significantly negative relationship between clan culture and enrollment in social pension programs. The overall results indicate that cultural norms have a significant influence on arrangements for old-age support.
KeywordsCulture Clan Living arrangement Intergenerational transfer Social pension China
JEL classificationH55 J13 J14 Z13
I would like to thank Wei Huang as well as seminar participations at Fudan University, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, and the 2017 Chinese Economists Society (CES) annual conference for their helpful comments. I am also grateful to three anonymous referees and the editor Junsen Zhang for helpful comments and suggestions.
This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71503282), the Young Elite Teacher Project of Central University of Finance and Economics (QYP1609), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.
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