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Son Preference and Access to Social Insurance: Evidence from China's Rural Pension Program

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Author Info

  • Avraham Ebenstein
  • Steven Leung

Abstract

Many scholars argue that the persistence of son preference in China is driven by greater anticipated old-age support from sons than from daughters and the absence of formal financial mechanisms for families to save for retirement. The introduction of a voluntary old-age pension program in rural China in the 1990s presents the opportunity to examine (1) whether parents with sons are less likely to participate in pension plans and (2) whether providing access to pension plans affects parental sex-selection decisions. Consistent with the first hypothesis, we find that parents with sons are less likely to participate in the pension program and have less financial savings for retirement. Consistent with the second hypothesis, we find that an increase in county-level pension program availability is associated with a slower increase in the sex ratio at birth. Copyright (c) 2010 The Population Council, Inc..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.

Volume (Year): 36 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 47-70

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Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:36:y:2010:i:1:p:47-70

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Cited by:
  1. Quanbao Jiang & Shuzhuo Li & Marcus Feldman, 2011. "Demographic Consequences of Gender Discrimination in China: Simulation Analysis of Policy Options," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 619-638, August.
  2. Avraham Ebenstein, 2011. "Estimating a Dynamic Model of Sex Selection in China," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 783-811, May.
  3. Felicia Tian, 2013. "Transition to First Marriage in Reform-Era Urban China: The Persistent Effect of Education in a Period of Rapid Social Change," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 529-552, August.
  4. Jane Golley & Rod Tyers, 2012. "China's Gender Imbalance and its Economic Performance," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 12-10, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  5. Mu, Ren & Du, Yang, 2012. "Pension Coverage for Parents and Educational Investment in Children: Evidence from Urban China," IZA Discussion Papers 6797, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Zhang, Chuanchuan, 2011. "Children, support in old age and social insurance in rural China," MPRA Paper 37798, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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