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Parent-child co-residence and bequest motives in China

  • Yin, Ting
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In this paper, I discuss the actual conditions and the determinants of co-residence between older parents and their children in China, especially the impact of bequest motives on parent-child co-residence, using micro data from the "Survey of Living Preferences and Satisfaction," conducted at Osaka University. More specifically, I use three subsamples of older respondents (those who live in urban areas, those who live in rural areas, and the pooled sample of both) to analyze the impact of bequest motives and other factors on the probability of parent-child co-residence. The results are as follows: bequest motives are strong in China, with more than 60% of respondents having a bequest motive, and the parent-child co-residence rate is also high (about 60%). Turning to the determinants of parent-child co-residence, children of urban parents are more likely to live with their older parents if their parents have a bequest motive, own their own homes, and live in an area where housing prices are high, a result which is consistent with both the selfish life-cycle and altruism models. Children are more likely to live with their older parents if their parents have a bequest motive in both the rural and combined samples, which implies that children are selfishly motivated and that the selfish life-cycle model applies in China.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 21 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 521-531

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Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:21:y:2010:i:4:p:521-531
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco

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  1. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S151-82, July.
  2. Midori Wakabayashi & Charles Y. Horioka, 2006. "Is the Eldest Son Different? The Residential Choice of Siblings in Japan," NBER Working Papers 12655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Dekle, Robert, 1990. "Do the Japanese elderly reduce their total wealth? A new look with different data," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 309-317, September.
  4. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2001. "Are the Japanese Selfish, Altruistic, or Dynastic?," NBER Working Papers 8577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Charles Yuji Horioka & Hideki Fujisaki & Wako Watanabe & Takatsugu Kouno, 2000. "Are Americans More Altruistic than the Japanese? A U.S.-Japan Comparison of Saving and Bequest Motives," NBER Working Papers 7463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ken Yamada, 2006. "Intra-family transfers in Japan: intergenerational co-residence, distance, and contact," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(16), pages 1839-1861.
  7. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  8. Fuqin Bian & John Logan & Yanjie Bian, 1998. "Intergenerational relations in urban China: Proximity, contact, and help to parents," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 115-124, February.
  9. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, December.
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