The State of Mental Health Among the Elderly Chinese

27 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2020

See all articles by Yi Chen

Yi Chen

ShanghaiTech University - School of Entrepreneurship and Management

Hanming Fang

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Hanming Fang

ShanghaiTech University - School of Entrepreneurship and Management

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 15, 2020

Abstract

China introduced its stringent family planning policies from the early 1970s, known as the “Later, Longer, Fewer" policies, and followed it with the One-Child Policy from 1979. The number of children born to Chinese parents significantly decreased from 5.7 in late 1960s to 2.5 in 1988. In Chen and Fang (2019), we show that family planning policies have drastically different effects on elderly parents' physical and mental well-beings. Whereas parents more exposed to the family planning policies consume more and enjoy slightly better physical health status, they report more severe depression symptoms. In this paper, we present a more complete picture of the difference in mental health among residents in rural and urban areas, between males and females, between different education groups, between those with one child and those with more than one children, and between widowed and non-widowed. We highlight the role of family support (from children and spouse) for the mental health status among the elderly Chinese.

Keywords: Family Planning; Mental Health; Socioeconomic Status; Family Support

JEL Classification: H31, I15, I18, J13

Suggested Citation

Chen, Yi and Fang, Hanming and Fang, Hanming, The State of Mental Health Among the Elderly Chinese (January 15, 2020). ShanghaiTech SEM Working Paper No. 2020-002, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3521072 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3521072

Yi Chen

ShanghaiTech University - School of Entrepreneurship and Management ( email )

100 Haike Rd
Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai
China

Hanming Fang (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Hanming Fang

ShanghaiTech University - School of Entrepreneurship and Management ( email )

100 Haike Rd
Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai
China

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