The Changing Patterns in Living Arrangements and Their Impacts on Intergenerational Transfers

Taichang Chen, Renmin University of China

Living arrangements are vital to intergenerational transfers and welfare in old age, particularly in China which lacks social security system. This study seeks to extend current understanding of the dynamics of living arrangements among older Chinese by exploring two sets of nationally representative survey data that were conducted by the China Research Center on Ageing in 2000 and 2006 respectively, covering 20,000 samples aged 60 and over. The results suggest that living close to children, rather than co-residing with them, has become an important way of providing old-age support. However, such changes in living arrangements do not necessarily constrain intergenerational transfer capacity and make old parents worse-off. Weak evidences have been found that, generally, parents live far from children receive more intergenerational transfers. The family unit and traditional family support in old-age seem likely to continue to be the essential pillars of the old-age security, particularly in rural areas.

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Presented in Poster Session 5