Economic income and intergenerational economic support of the urban and rural elderly in China


SUN Juanjuan


Population Development Studies Center, Renmin University of China


Based on data from 2014 China Longitudinal Aging Social Survey conducted by Renmin University of China, this paper analyzes the income levels and intergenerational economic support of the Chinese elderly. The study explores the influencing factors of the income of the urban and rural elderly using multiple linear regression models. The results show that the average income of the urban elderly is 4.5 times that of the rural elderly. The “upward” transfer of economic resources is the main pattern among the families of Chinese aged people, while “downward” transfer is also distinct among the urban elderly in terms of the percentage and degree of the transfer to their children. Both the early endowed factors and multiple cumulative social factors in the elderly’s life courses are significantly related to the income level of the Chinese elderly. However, big differences are found between the rural and urban elderly in terms of the effects or even the directions of the influencing factors. This paper proposes that the key of enhancing economic security in later life is to improve economic independence of the elderly instead of encouraging economic support by family members for the elderly.


the rural elderly;the urban elderly;economic income;intergenerational support;life course


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Total: 20 articles

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