Can China’s Rural Elderly Count on Support from Adult Children? Implications of Rural-to-Urban Migration
- 1.1k Downloads
This paper shows that the family continues to be an important source of support for the rural elderly, particularly the rural elderly over 70 years of age. Decline in likelihood of co-residence with, or in close proximity to, adult children raises the possibility that China’s rural elderly will receive less support in the forms of both income and in-kind instrumental care. While descriptive evidence on net-financial transfers suggests that elderly with migrant children will receive similar levels of financial transfers as those without migrant children, the predicted variance associated with these transfers implies a higher risk that elderly who have migrant children could fall into poverty. Reducing the risk of low incomes among the elderly is one important motive for new rural pension initiatives supported by China’s government, which are scheduled to be expanded to cover all rural counties by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan in 2016.
KeywordsAgeing Elder support Intergenerational transfers Migration China.
- Anh, T. S., Cuong, B. T., Goodkind, D., & Knodel, J. (1997). Living arrangements, patrilinearity and sources of support among elderly Vietnamese. Asia-Pacific Population Journal, 12(4), 69–88.Google Scholar
- Benjamin, D., Brandt, L., & Rozelle, S. (2000). Aging, well-being and social security in Rural North China. Population and Development Review, 26, 89–116.Google Scholar
- Benjamin, D., Brandt, L., Giles, J., & Wang, S. (2008). Income inequality during China’s economic transition. In L. Brandt and T. Rawski, (Eds.), China’s great economic transformation (Chapter 18). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Cai, F., Park, A., & Zhao, Y. (2008). The Chinese labor market. In L. Brandt & T. Rawski (Eds.), China’s great transformation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Cai, F., Giles, J., & Wang, D. (2009). The well-being of China’s rural elderly, background paper for East Asia social protection unit, The World Bank (Beijing).Google Scholar
- Chaudhuri, S., & Datt, G. (2009). From poor areas to poor people: China's evolving poverty agenda, an assessment of poverty and inequality in China, The World Bank.Google Scholar
- Cox, D., Hansen, B. E., & Jimenez, E. (2004). How responsive to private transfers to income? Evidence from a laissez-faire economy. Journal of Public Economics 88.Google Scholar
- de Brauw, A., & Giles, J. (2008). Migrant labor markets and the welfare of rural households in the developing world: evidence from China. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4585, June 2008.Google Scholar
- Du, Y., Park, A., & Wang, S. (2005). Migration and rural poverty in China. Journal of Comparative Economics, 33(4), 688–709.Google Scholar
- Green, S. (2010). The rural life and times of China’s aging population, part III: institutional problems. Asia Healthcare Blog (January 27, 2010). (http://www.asiahealthcareblog.com/2010/01/27/the-rural-life-and-times-of-chinas-aging-population-part-iii-institutional-problems/)
- Jensen, R. T. (2003). Do private transfers ‘displace’ the benefits of public transfers? Evidence from South Africa. Journal of Public Economics, 2003, 89–112.Google Scholar
- Jiang, C., & Zhao, X. (2009). A study on the opportunity cost of China’s elderly care. Management World [Guanli Shijie], 10, 80–87.Google Scholar
- Knodel, J., & Chayovan, N. (1997). Family support and living arrangements of Thai elderly. Asia-Pacific Population Journal, 12(4), 51–68.Google Scholar
- Marriage Law. (2001). The marriage law of the people’s republic of China, Section 3, Article 21. Available online at http://www.nyconsulate.prchina.org/eng/lsqz/laws/t42222.htm.
- Selden, M. (1993). Family strategies and structures in rural North China. In D. Davis & S. Harrell (Eds.), Chinese families in the post-mao era (pp. 139–164). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- State Council. (2009). Guiding suggestions of the state council on developing a new rural pension scheme pilot. State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Document Number 32 (September 2009).Google Scholar
- Yatchew, A. (1998). Non-parametric regression techniques in economics. Journal of Economic Literature, 36, 669–721.Google Scholar
- Yao, Y. (2006). Issues of old age support for the ‘empty nest’ rural elderly in developed region, a case of Rural Zhejiang Province. Population Research [Renkou Yanjiu], 30(6), 38–46.Google Scholar
- Zhao, Y. (2002). Causes and consequences of return migration: recent evidence from China. Journal of Comparative Economics, 30(2), 376–394.Google Scholar
- Zimmer, Z., & Kim, S. K. (2002). Living arrangements and socio-demographic conditions of older adults in Cambodia. Population Council Working Paper No. 157. Population Council, New York.Google Scholar