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Impact of Childcare and Eldercare on Off-farm Activities in Rural China

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Listed:
  • Fangbin Qiao
  • Scott Rozelle
  • Linxiu Zhang
  • Yi Yao
  • Jian Zhang

Abstract

Using individual data collected in rural China and adopting Heckman's two-step function, we examined the impact of childcare and eldercare on laborers' off-farm activities. Our study finds that having school-aged children has a negative impact on rural laborers' migration decisions and a positive impact on their decision to work in the local off-farm employment market. As grandparents can help to take care of young children, the impact of preschoolers is insignificant. Having elderly family to care for decreases the income earned by female members of the family. Although both men and women are actively engaged in off-farm employment today in rural China, this study shows that women are still the primary care providers for both children and the elderly. Therefore, reforming public school enrollment and high school/college entrance examination systems so that migrant children can stay with their parents, this will help rural laborers to migrate to cities. The present study also calls for more public services for preschoolers and the elderly in rural China.

Suggested Citation

  • Fangbin Qiao & Scott Rozelle & Linxiu Zhang & Yi Yao & Jian Zhang, 2015. "Impact of Childcare and Eldercare on Off-farm Activities in Rural China," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 23(2), pages 100-120, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:chinae:v:23:y:2015:i:2:p:100-120
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/cwe.12109
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Linxiu Zhang & Weiliang Su & Tor Eriksson & Chengfang Liu, 2016. "How Off-farm Employment Affects Technical Efficiency of China's Farms: The Case of Jiangsu," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 24(3), pages 37-51, May.
    2. Xianqing Ji & Scott Rozelle & Jikun Huang & Linxiu Zhang & Tonglong Zhang, 2016. "Are China's Farms Growing?," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 24(1), pages 41-62, January.
    3. Ding, Sai & Dong, Xiao-Yuan & Maurer-Fazio, Margaret, 2016. "How Do Pre-School and/or School-Age Children Affect Parents' Likelihood of Migration and Off-Farm Work in Rural China's Minority Regions?," IZA Discussion Papers 10073, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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