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Child’s gender, parental monetary investments and care of elderly parents in China

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  • Christine Ho

    () (Singapore Management University)

Abstract

Abstract This study analyzes whether parental monetary investments in children stimulate support from sons and daughters. Using data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, I find that parents invested twice more in sons than in daughters in terms of college education spending and marriage gifts value. Conversely, higher parental monetary investments are associated with higher increases in support from daughters than from sons in terms of best living proximity and most help with activities of daily living. Parental monetary investments in sons’ college education are positively associated with sons’ income and negatively associated with sons’ instrumental support, suggesting that such investments potentially generate higher opportunity costs of time for sons. Meanwhile, parental monetary investments in daughters’ marriage are positively associated with daughters’ instrumental support, which may occur through an income effect or through reciprocity from daughters. There is no conclusive evidence that parental monetary investments stimulate monetary and in-kind transfers from children, suggesting that material support possibly occurs out of social norm courtesy.

Suggested Citation

  • Christine Ho, 2019. "Child’s gender, parental monetary investments and care of elderly parents in China," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 741-774, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:17:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-018-9428-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-018-9428-y
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