Families, Neighborhoods and Social Interactions of Older Adults: Evidence from Social Housing in Singapore

Treena Wu, National University of Singapore

This empirical paper investigates the relationship between the social interactions of older adults aged 60+ and their well being in the Singapore city state. The government Housing Development Board (HDB) allocation of social housing is used as a source of exogenous variation to: investigate the social capital built within the assigned neighborhood and a sense of well being (companionship, not feeling left out, not isolated and overall sense of loneliness) as the adult ages. OLS and IV estimates show that having a spouse in old age matters for companionship and having the same assigned neighbors does not matter. But having the same assigned neighbors substantially reduces the feeling of being left out and being isolated. Overall sense of loneliness is reduced by having a spouse and when multiple generations co-reside. It can be inferred that the older adult's family and neighbors strengthen the social network, particularly for older women.

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Presented in Poster Session 4