The Labour Participation Decision of the Rural Left-Behind Elderly from a Cultural Perspective
32 Pages Posted: 7 May 2020
Date Written: April 13, 2020
Alleviating poverty amongst the rural left-behind elderly is not only an important goal for China’s rural revitalization, but also for improving pension security amongst the rural left-behind elderly. However, due to the application age range of the elderly-care policy and the shortage of support within rural society, the left-behind elderly always adopt the practice of labour participation to fund their pensions. Based on this fact, in order to study the effect of culture as an informal institutional constraint on the left-behind elderly’s ability to self-fund their pension through labour participation, we adopt the study of 2014 by Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, which surveyed data collected from thousands of rural Chinese villages. From the research, we show that the cultural constraints caused by religion have significantly increased the probability of labour participation by the left-behind elderly. However, this effect is not decided by culture’s “value identification”, but is more a reflection of culture’s “economic function”. Specifically, the construction of a social network, substitution of human capital and the supplement of an official security system are important channels by which culture could play a role in supporting the left-behind elderly.
Keywords: Economic needs; Left-behind elderly; Labour participation; Social security; Pension mode
JEL Classification: D1; I2; O1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation