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Intergenerational support and subjective health of the elderly in rural China: a gender-based longitudinal study

Shuzhuo Li, Xi'an Jiaotong University
Lu Song, Soochow University
Marcus W. Feldman, Stanford University

Using the data from three waves of the survey “Well-being of Elderly in Anhui Province, China” conducted in 2001, 2003 and 2006 respectively, this study employs random effect logit models for males and females separately. The results show that while an increase in instrumental support from children to the elderly is associated with deterioration in the subjective health of older men, financial support from the elderly to children is associated with improvement in the formers’ subjective health. Although an increase in instrumental support from the elderly to children, and mutual emotional support is associated with improved the subjective health of older women, financial support from children to the older women has negative effect on the latter's subjective health. We conclude that reciprocal intergenerational transfers contribute to improvement in subjective health of the elderly, while increased support through demand-based transfers appears to result in deterioration of their health.

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Presented in Session 129: A graceful exit? Health and mortality of the elderly