Resource Safety Net or Maximum Utility? The Intergenerational Relationship in Chinese Family with Multiple Children

Ting Li , Renmin University of China
Yongai Jin, Renmin University of China
Dan Tang, Renmin university of China

Chinese family is undergoing profound changes during the rapid social transformation. An interesting question is how the intergenerational relationships are coordinated within the family with multiple children. Two competing hypotheses are proposed to answer this question: utility maximizing strategy vs. resource safety net strategy. By using a national representative survey of old people in China, we find that: 1.There are mainly four types of intergenerational relationships in Chinese families: tight-knit, loose, independent and detached, with the first two types playing a dominant role accounting for a share of 72%; 2.The second hypothesis that Chinese families serve as safety net for members holds true either for parents or children. The family resource would float to the members who need most and the intergenerational relationship construct a bridge that facilitates the transfer.

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session Ageing, Health and Mortality