Community Effects on Elderly Health: Evidence from Charls National Baseline

36 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2013

See all articles by James P. Smith

James P. Smith

RAND Corporation; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Yaohui Zhao

Peking University


There is increasing interest in neighborhood or area effects on health and individual development. China, due to its vast regional variations in health infrastructure and geography and relative immobility of older residents, provides a rare opportunity to study such effects. Utilizing China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) baseline survey 2011-2012 which covered over 17,000 individuals in 450 randomly selected communities/villages, this paper addresses two questions: whether community/village characteristics matter for individual health and SES (Socio-Economic Status), and why they matter. Our statistical results indicate that community/village characteristics have strong associations with individual health and SES.

Keywords: China, neighborhood effects, health

JEL Classification: I10, I14

Suggested Citation

Smith, James P. and Zhao, Yaohui, Community Effects on Elderly Health: Evidence from Charls National Baseline. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7535, Available at SSRN:

James P. Smith (Contact Author)

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Yaohui Zhao

Peking University ( email )

Department of Economics
Beijing 100871

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