Can China's Rural Elderly Count on Support from Adult Children? Implications of Rural-to-Urban Migration

39 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by John Giles

John Giles

World Bank; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Dewen Wang

World Bank - East Asia and Pacific Region

Changbao Zhao

Ministry of Agriculture, P.R. China - Research Center for Rural Economy

Date Written: December 1, 2010

Abstract

This paper shows that support from the family continues to be an important source of support for the rural elderly, particularly the rural elderly over 70 years of age. Decline in likelihood of co-residence with, or in close proximity to, adult children raises the possibility that China's rural elderly will receive less support in the forms of both income and in-kind instrumental care. Although descriptive evidence on net financial transfers suggests that the elderly with migrant children will receive similar levels of financial transfers as those without migrant children, the predicted variance associated with these transfers implies a higher risk that elderly with migrant children may fall into poverty. Reducing the risk of low incomes among the elderly is one important motive for new rural pension initiatives supported by China's government, which are scheduled to be expanded to cover all rural counties by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan in 2016.

Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction, Population Policies, Services & Transfers to Poor, Regional Economic Development, Labor Policies

Suggested Citation

Giles, John and Wang, Dewen and Zhao, Changbao, Can China's Rural Elderly Count on Support from Adult Children? Implications of Rural-to-Urban Migration (December 1, 2010). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5510, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1732389

John Giles (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

Washington DC
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Dewen Wang

World Bank - East Asia and Pacific Region ( email )

Washington, DC 20433
United States

Changbao Zhao

Ministry of Agriculture, P.R. China - Research Center for Rural Economy

China

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