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

Friday, July 18, 2014: 9:15 AM
Room: F203
Oral Presentation
Taichang CHEN , Renmin University of China, Beijing, China
Recent studies have claimed that coresidence with children in China has declined over time. It raises the concern that whether or not changes in such living arrangements will undermine traditional support mechanisms for older adults. Literature from China does not give a clear clue. This study seeks to extend our current understanding of living arrangement dynamics among older Chinese people by exploring the Follow-up Sampling Survey of the Aged Population in Urban/Rural China, a nationally representative data conducted by the China Research Centre on Aging in 2006. This study examined the associations between living arrangements and the probability as well as the amount that an older adult in China received monetary intergenerational transfers from children. Instead of the binary variable – coresiding or not – used in previous analyses, this study introduced a trichotomous variable (live in the same household, live in the same city, live in the same province) to measure potential effects of children’s living distance from their parents on intergenerational transfers. In the first part of the multivariate analysis, I investigated the determinants of older adults’ living arrangements. The results suggest that older adults who were desired to coreside and with more instrumental needs were more likely to live with children. In the second part of analysis, I found evidence that urban old parents living close by children are more likely to receive net transfers and to receive a larger amount of net transfers from children. However, the effects of living arrangements for rural residents were not significant. The analyses suggest that, living close by adult children is becoming the primary living arrangement for future older Chinese people. Moreover, living close by children, rather than co-residing with them, does not necessarily weaken intergenerational transfers and has become an important way of providing support in old age.