Family Structure and Intergenerational Support in Urban China

Haiyan Zhu, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Previous studies suggest that arrangements for financial transfers between adult children and their elderly parents are complicated because they are affected by residential arrangements and the characteristics of not only the adult children and their elderly parents but also of the adult child’s siblings. Thus, stakeholders making such arrangements can include multiple members of an extended family. Using data from the “Study of Family Life in Urban China” and relying on fixed-effects models, this paper examines how the characteristics of adult children and their adult siblings affect the financial support of their parents, with particular attention focused on gender and birth order differences (the traditional social norm hypothesis), educational differences (the long-term exchange hypothesis), and redistribution of resources within the family (the resource redistribution hypothesis). Preliminary results show that the long-term exchange and resource redistribution hypotheses are supported but the traditional social norm hypothesis is not.

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Presented in Poster Session 6