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Patterns and correlates of intergenerational non-time transfers : evidence from CHARLS

Author

Listed:
  • Lei, Xiaoyan
  • Giles, John
  • Hu, Yuqing
  • Park, Albert
  • Strauss, John
  • Zhao, Yaohui

Abstract

Using the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study 2008 pilot, this paper analyzes the patterns and correlates of intergenerational transfers between elderly parents and adult children in Zhejiang and Gansu Provinces. The pilot is a unique data source from China that provides information on the direction as well as amount of transfers between parents and each of their children, and clearly distinguishes transfers between parents and children from those among other relatives or friends. The paper shows that transfers flow predominantly from children to elderly parents, with transfers from children playing an important role in elderly support. Taking advantage of the rich information available in this survey, the authors find strong evidence that transfers are significantly affected by the financial capabilities of individual children. Educated and married children have a higher tendency to provide transfers to their parents; and oldest sons are less likely to provide transfers than their younger brothers. With future continued rapid economic growth in China, the income disadvantage of the elderly will persist and upward generational transfers will likely remain the most common form of private transfers. In the absence of some other source of elderly support (such as a public pension or own savings), the dwindling number of children implies that the financial burden associated with supporting the elderly is likely to increase.

Suggested Citation

  • Lei, Xiaoyan & Giles, John & Hu, Yuqing & Park, Albert & Strauss, John & Zhao, Yaohui, 2012. "Patterns and correlates of intergenerational non-time transfers : evidence from CHARLS," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6076, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6076
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Yun Liang & John Gibson, 2017. "Do More Grandchildren Lead to Worse Health Status of Grandparents? Evidence from the China Health and Nutrition Survey," Working Papers in Economics 17/18, University of Waikato.
    3. Chen, Yi & Fang, Hanming, 2021. "The long-term consequences of China's “Later, Longer, Fewer” campaign in old age," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    4. Ting Yin & Junchao Zhang, 2022. "More Schooling, More Generous? Estimating the Effect of Education on Intergenerational Transfers†," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 22-46, March.
    5. Jiayun Liu & Jianyuan Huang & Huimin Li, 2022. "How Can the Modern Chinese Family Retirement Function Be Separated and Sustainable?," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(15), pages 1-19, August.
    6. Hien, Nguyen Thi Thu, 2019. "Consequences of urban migration of adult children for the elderly left-behind in rural Vietnam," OSF Preprints zxyf8, Center for Open Science.
    7. Zhaohua Zhang & Yuxi Luo & Derrick Robinson, 2020. "Do Social Pensions Help People Living on the Edge? Assessing Determinants of Vulnerability to Food Poverty Among the Rural Elderly," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 32(1), pages 198-219, January.
    8. Wang, Qun & Abiiro, Gilbert Abotisem & Yang, Jin & Li, Peng & De Allegri, Manuela, 2021. "Preferences for long-term care insurance in China: Results from a discrete choice experiment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 281(C).

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    Keywords

    Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Youth and Governance; Rural Poverty Reduction; Labor Policies; Population&Development;
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