Abstract

Change in China’s age structure is creating concerns about whether reductions in family size undermine traditional support mechanisms for older adults. Future generations may expect less support as the availability of children declines. In this article, the association between number of children and the receipt of instrumental and financial support is examined for rural and urban populations. Probabilities are modeled as bivariate probits. Coefficients are used to conduct simulations in which support is examined across hypothetical distributions of number of children. The results show that the number of children is an important determinant of support, but future reductions in support may not be as dramatic as anticipated.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.

References

Banister, J. (
1990
).
Implications of the Aging of China’s Population
. In Yi, Z., Chunyan, Z., & Songjan, P. (Eds.),
Changing Family Structure and Population Aging in China: A Comparative Approach
(pp.
268
308
).
Beijing
:
Peking University Press
.
Becker, G.S. (
1974
).
A Theory of Social Interactions
.
Journal of Political Economy
,
82
,
1063
93
. 10.1086/260265
Bian, F., Logan, J.R., & Bian, Y. (
1998
).
Intergenerational Relations in Urban China: Proximity, Contact and Help to Parents
.
Demography
,
35
,
115
24
. 10.2307/3004031
Breslin, M. (
1997
).
Japanese Women Want More Children Than Their Total Fertility Rate Suggests
.
Family Planning Perspectives
,
29
,
291
92
. 10.2307/2953423
Caldwell, J.C. (
1976
).
Toward a Restatement of Demographic Transition Theory
.
Population and Development Review
,
2
,
321
66
. 10.2307/1971615
Chi, P.S.K., & Hsin, P.L. (
1996
).
Family Structure and Fertility Behavior in Taiwan
.
Population Research and Policy Review
,
15
,
327
39
. 10.1007/BF00128428
Data on the Survey of Support Systems of the Elderly
. (
1992
).
Beijing
:
China Research Center on Aging
.
Chi, P.S.K., & Hsin, P.L. (
1994
).
A Data Compilation of the Survey on China’s Support Systems for the Elderly
.
Beijing
:
Hua Ling Press
.
Cohen, M.L. (
1976
).
House United, House Divided
.
New York
:
Columbia University Press
.
Cox, D. (
1987
).
Motives for Private Income Transfers
.
Journal of Political Economy
,
95
,
508
46
. 10.1086/261470
Di, J., & Rosenbaum, E. (
1994
).
Caregiving System in Transition: An Illustration From Shanghai, China
.
Population Research and Policy Review
,
13
,
101
12
. 10.1007/BF01074324
Du, P., & Guo, Z.G. (
2000
).
Population Ageing in China
. In Phillips, D.R. (Ed.),
Ageing in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Policies and Future Trends
(pp.
194
209
).
New York
:
Routledge
.
Ebrey, P.B. (
1996
).
China
.
New York
:
Cambridge University Press
.
Feldstein, M. (
1999
).
Social Security Pension Reform in China
.
China Economic Review
,
10
,
99
107
. 10.1016/S1043-951X(99)00007-3
Fricke, T., Chang, J.S., & Yang, L.S. (
1994
).
Historical and Ethnographic Perspectives on the Chinese Family
. In Thornton, A., & Lin, H.-S. (Eds.),
Social Change and the Family in Taiwan
(pp.
22
48
).
Chicago
:
Chicago University Press
.
Goode, W.J. (
1963
).
World Revolution and Family Patterns
.
Glencoe, IL
:
Free Press
.
Greene, W.H. (
1997
).
Econometric Analysis
.
Upper Saddle River, NJ
:
Prentice Hall
.
Hermalin, A.I., Chang, M.C., Lin, H.S., Lee, M.L., & Ofstedal, M.B. (
1990
).
Patterns of Support Among the Elderly in Taiwan and Their Policy Implications
Comparative Study of the Elderly in Asia Research Reports, No. 90-4
.
Ann Arbor
:
Population Studies Center, University of Michigan
.
Hermalin, A.I., Ofstedal, M.B., & Chang, M.C. (
1996
).
Types of Supports for the Aged and Their Providers in Taiwan
. In Hareven, T. (Ed.),
Aging and Generational Relations Over the Life Course: A Historical and Cross-Cultural Perspective
(pp.
400
37
).
New York
:
Walter de Gruyter
.
Klitsch, N. (
1994
).
Decline in Fertility Among Japanese Women Attributed Not to Contraceptive Use But to Late Age at Marriage
.
Family Planning Perspectives
,
26
,
137
38
. 10.2307/2136042
Knodel, J., Chayovan, N., & Siriboon, S. (
1992
).
The Impact of Fertility Decline on Familial Support for the Elderly: An Illustration From Thailand
.
Population and Development Review
,
18
,
79
103
. 10.2307/1971860
Kwong, J. Forthcoming. “China’s Social Security Reform Under Market Socialism.” Public Administration Quarterly.
Kwong, P., & Cai, G. (
1992
).
Ageing in China: Trends, Problems and Strategies
. In Phillips, D.R. (Ed.),
Ageing in East and South-East Asia
(pp.
105
27
).
London
:
Edward Arnold
.
Lang, O. (
1946
).
Chinese Family and Society
.
New Haven, CT
:
Yale University Press
.
Lassey, M.L., Lassey, W.R., & Jinks, M.J. (
1997
).
Health Care Systems Around the World: Characteristics, Issues, Reforms
.
Upper Saddle River, NJ
:
Prentice Hall
.
Lee, Y.J., Parish, W.L., & Willis, R.J. (
1994
).
Sons, Daughters and Intergenerational Support in Taiwan
.
American Journal of Sociology
,
99
,
1010
41
. 10.1086/230370
Lee, Y.J., & Xiao, Z. (
1998
).
Children’s Support for Elderly Parents in Urban and Rural China: Results From a National Survey
.
Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
,
13
,
39
62
. 10.1023/A:1006591608724
Leete, R. (
1987
).
The Post-Demographic Transition in East and South East Asia: Similarities and Contrasts With Europe
.
Population Studies
,
41
,
187
206
. 10.1080/0032472031000142766
Li, H., & Martin, T.B. (
1999
).
Family Support, Financial Needs, and Health Care Needs of Rural Elderly in China: A Field Study
.
Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
,
14
,
357
71
. 10.1023/A:1006607707655
Lillard, L.A., & Willis, R.J. (
1997
).
Motives for Intergenerational Transfers: Evidence From Malaysia
.
Demography
,
34
,
115
34
. 10.2307/2061663
Lin, J. (
1994
).
Parity and Security: A Simulation Study of Old-Age Support in Rural China
.
Population and Development Review
,
20
,
423
48
. 10.2307/2137526
Liu, W.T. (
1988
).
China Social Statistics, 1986
.
New York
:
Praeger
.
Mason, A., & Miller, T. (
1995
).
Dynasties, Intergenerational Transfers, and Lifecycle Income
Intergenerational Economic Relations and Demographic Change
(pp.
1
26
).
Liege, Belgium
:
International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, Committee on Economic Demography
.
Mason, A., & Miller, T. (
1998
).
Family and Intergenerational Income Transfers in Taiwan
. In Mason, K.O., Tsuya, N.O., & Choe, M.K. (Eds.),
The Changing Family in Comparative Perspective: Asia and the United States
(pp.
215
34
).
Honolulu
:
University of Hawaii Press
.
Morgan, P.S., & Hirosima, K. (
1983
).
The Persistence of Extended Family Residence in Japan
.
American Sociological Review
,
48
,
269
81
. 10.2307/2095111
Neville, W. (
2000
).
Introduction
Low Fertility and Policy Responses to Issues of Ageing and Welfare
(pp.
1
23
).
Seoul
:
Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, United Nations Population Fund
.
Pei, X., & Pillai, V.K. (
1999
).
Old Age in China: The Role of the State and the Family
.
International Journal of Aging and Human Development
,
49
,
197
212
. 10.2190/QXLM-PN99-GPN7-32XF
Phillips, D.R. (
2000
).
Ageing in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Policies and Contexts
. In Phillips, D.R. (Ed.),
Ageing in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Policies and Future Trends
(pp.
1
34
).
New York
:
Routledge
.
Poston, D.L. (
1992
).
Fertility Trends in China
. In Poston, D.L., & Yaukey, D. (Eds.),
The Population of Modern China
(pp.
277
86
).
New York
:
Plenum Press
.
Retherford, R.D., Ogawa, N., & Sakamoto, S. (
1996
).
Values and Fertility Change in Japan
.
Population Studies
,
50
,
5
25
. 10.1080/0032472031000149016
Ross, C., & Wu, C. (
1996
).
Education, Age and the Cumulative Advantage in Health
.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
,
37
,
104
20
. 10.2307/2137234
Royall, R.M. (
1986
).
Model Robust Confidence Intervals Using Maximum Likelihood Estimators
.
International Statistical Review
,
54
,
221
26
. 10.2307/1403146
Shen, Y. (
1987
).
Selected Findings From Recent Fertility Surveys in Three Regions of China
.
International Family Planning Perspectives
,
13
,
80
85
. 10.2307/2947902
Shi, L. (
1993
).
Health Care in China: A Rural-Urban Comparison After the Socioeconomic Reforms
.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization
,
71
,
723
36
.
Sidel, V.W. (
1993
).
New Lessons From China: Equity and Economics in Rural Health Care
.
American Journal of Public Health
,
83
,
1665
66
. 10.2105/AJPH.83.12.1665
1997 National Fertility and Family Planning Survey, China
. (
1997
).
Beijing
:
State Family Planning Commission
.
China Population Statistics Yearbook, 1991
. (
1991
).
Beijing
:
State Statistical Bureau
.
Sun, T.H., & Liu, Y.H. (
1994
).
Changes in Intergenerational Relations in the Chinese Family: Taiwan’s Experience
. In Cho, L.J., & Yada, M. (Eds.),
Tradition and Change in the Asian Family
(pp.
321
61
).
Honolulu
:
East-West Center
.
World Population Prospects: The 1998 Revision
. (
1999
).
New York
:
United Nations
.
Verbrugge, L.M. (
1989
).
The Twains Meet: Empirical Explanations for Sex Differences in Health and Mortality
.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
,
30
,
282
304
. 10.2307/2136961
West, L.A. (
1997
).
Pension Reform in China: Preparing for the Future
.
Eurasia Bulletin
,
Summer
,
9
19
.
Old Age Security: Pension Reform in China
. (
1997
).
Washington, DC
:
World Bank
.
Wu, C. (
1994
).
The Ageing Process and Income Security of the Elderly Under Reform in China
The Ageing of Asian Populations: Proceedings of the United Nations Round Table on the Ageing of Asian Populations, Bangkok, 4–6 May, 1992
(pp.
58
65
).
New York
:
United Nations
.
Yan, S., & Chi, I. (
2001
).
Living Arrangements and Adult Children’s Support for the Elderly in the New Urban Areas of Mainland China
. In Chi, I., Chappell, N.L., & Lubben, J. (Eds.),
Elderly Chinese in Pacific Rim Countries: Social Support and Integration
(pp.
201
20
).
Hong Kong
:
Hong Kong University Press
.
Yuan, F. (
1990
).
Support for the Elderly: The Chinese Way
. In Yi, Z., Chunyan, Z., & Songjan, P. (Eds.),
Changing Family Structure and Population Aging in China: A Comparative Approach
(pp.
341
58
).
Beijing
:
Peking University Press
.
Yuan, T.H., Zhang, T., Ping, Y., Li, J., & Liang, Z. (
1992
).
China’s Demographic Dilemmas
.
Population Bulletin
,
47
,
1
44
.
Zhenghua, J., & Lingguang, Z. (
2000
).
Fertility Decline and Population Policy in China
Low Fertility and Policy Responses to Issues of Ageing and Welfare
(pp.
195
225
).
Seoul
:
Korea Institute of Health and Social Affairs, United Nations Population Fund
.
Zimmer, Z., Liu, X., Hermalin, A.I., & Chuang, Y.L. (
1998
).
Educational Attainment and Transitions in Functional Status Among Older Taiwanese
.
Demography
,
35
,
361
75
. 10.2307/3004043