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Can China's rural elderly count on support from adult children ? implications of rural-to-urban migration

Author

Listed:
  • Giles, John
  • Wang, Dewen
  • Zhao, Changbao

Abstract

This paper shows that support from the family continues to be an important source of support for the rural elderly, particularly the rural elderly over 70 years of age. Decline in likelihood of co-residence with, or in close proximity to, adult children raises the possibility that China's rural elderly will receive less support in the forms of both income and in-kind instrumental care. Although descriptive evidence on net financial transfers suggests that the elderly with migrant children will receive similar levels of financial transfers as those without migrant children, the predicted variance associated with these transfers implies a higher risk that elderly with migrant children may fall into poverty. Reducing the risk of low incomes among the elderly is one important motive for new rural pension initiatives supported by China's government, which are scheduled to be expanded to cover all rural counties by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan in 2016.

Suggested Citation

  • Giles, John & Wang, Dewen & Zhao, Changbao, 2010. "Can China's rural elderly count on support from adult children ? implications of rural-to-urban migration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5510, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5510
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    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2010/12/21/000158349_20101221171745/Rendered/PDF/WPS5510.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Araar, Abdelkrim & Giles, John, 2010. "Chronic and transient poverty: Measurement and estimation, with evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 266-277, March.
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    6. John Giles & Kyeongwon Yoo, 2007. "Precautionary Behavior, Migrant Networks, and Household Consumption Decisions: An Empirical Analysis Using Household Panel Data from Rural China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 534-551, August.
    7. Cai, Fang & Giles, John & Meng, Xin, 2006. "How well do children insure parents against low retirement income? An analysis using survey data from urban China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2229-2255, December.
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    9. Lisa Cameron & Deborah Cobb-Clark, 2008. "Do coresidency and financial transfers from the children reduce the need for elderly parents to works in developing countries?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(4), pages 1007-1033, October.
    10. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt & Scott Rozelle, 1998. "Aging, Well-Being, And Social Security In Rural North China," Working Papers benjamin-98-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    11. Giles, John, 2006. "Is life more risky in the open? Household risk-coping and the opening of China's labor markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 25-60, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Baeten, Steef & Van Ourti, Tom & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2013. "Rising inequalities in income and health in China: Who is left behind?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1214-1229.
    2. Giles, John T. & Wang, Dewen & Cai, Wei, 2011. "The Labor Supply and Retirement Behavior of China's Older Workers and Elderly in Comparative Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 6088, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. repec:fpr:export:1338 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Anzelika Zaiceva, 2014. "The impact of aging on the scale of migration," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-99, November.
    5. Chen, Zeyuan & Bengtsson, Tommy & Helgertz, Jonas, 2015. "Labor Supply Responses to New Rural Social Pension Insurance in China: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 9360, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Lingguo Cheng & Hong Liu & Ye Zhang & Zhong Zhao, 2018. "The heterogeneous impact of pension income on elderly living arrangements: evidence from China’s new rural pension scheme," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(1), pages 155-192, January.
    7. repec:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:1:p:53-77 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jin Yang & Hui Wang & Songqing Jin & Kevin Chen & Jeffrey Riedinger & Chao Peng, 2016. "Migration, local off-farm employment, and agricultural production efficiency: evidence from China," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 247-259, June.
    9. Scheffel, Juliane & Zhang, Yiwei, 2016. "How Does Internal Migration Affect the Emotional Health of Elderly Parents Left-Behind?," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145663, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Connelly, Rachel & Maurer-Fazio, Margaret, 2016. "Left behind, at-risk, and vulnerable elders in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 140-153.
    11. Chen, Zeyuan & Bengtsson, Tommy & Helgertz, Jonas, 2015. "Labor Supply Responses to New Rural Pension Insurances in China: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," Lund Papers in Economic History 139, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    12. Cheng, Lingguo & Liu, Hong & Zhang, Ye & Zhao, Zhong, 2018. "The health implications of social pensions: Evidence from China's new rural pension scheme," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 53-77.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rural Poverty Reduction; Population Policies; Services&Transfers to Poor; Regional Economic Development; Labor Policies;

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