This paper investigates the impact of the proximity of grandparents' residence on mother's childcare involvement in contemporary China. Drawing on data from the 1991 China Health and Nutrition Survey, we find that the presence of grandparents in the household significantly reduces a mother's involvement in childcare. Nearby residence of grandparents also decreases mothers' childcare involvement, but only in the case of paternal grandparents not maternal grandparents. These findings suggest the importance of grandparents as childcare substitutes and the strong legacy of a patrilineal culture. Our results point to the importance of taking into account kinship ties that extend beyond the household boundary.
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Chen, F., Short, S.E. & Entwisle, B. The impact of grandparental proximity on maternal childcare in China. Population Research and Policy Review 19, 571–590 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010618302144