Who Cares for the Disabled Elderly in China: Evidence from CHARLS

Xinxin Chen, Zhejiang Gongshang University

In this paper we focus on elderly disability in China using data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) national baseline, which was fielded in 2011/12 and defines disability by international standard ADLs and IADLs questions and contains detailed care-giving and family information. We estimate the magnitude of disability among older Chinese and examine resources available for their care, the current pattern of care, and job division between children. Such research has not been possible before. We find that 23% of those 60 and older are disabled and need care; this amounts to about 40 million nationwide. However, only 86% received care. Whether or not care is provided is significantly related to the wellbeing of the elderly. Spouse is the largest source of care giver, especially for men, followed by children. In accordance with the Chinese tradition, sons are the dominant care-giver but daughters are increasingly important.

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Presented in Poster Session 2