Grandparenting and well-being of the elderly in China

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Title: Grandparenting and well-being of the elderly in China
Author: Wang, Hao ; Fidrmuc, Jan ; Luo, Qi
Organization: Bank of Finland
Department / Unit: Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT)
Series: BOFIT Discussion Papers
ISSN: 1456-5889
Series year: 2020
Series number: 18/2020
Year of publication: 2020
Publication date: 9.8.2020
Pages: 29
Subject (yso): isovanhemmuus; elämänlaatu; tyytyväisyys; hyvinvointi; ikääntyneet
Keywords: Bofit-kokoelma; Kiina
JEL: D13; O18
Other keywords: panel data analysis; grandparenting; quality of life; life satisfaction; CHARLS
Abstract: Grandparenting duties can affect the well-being of the elderly both positively and negatively. This paper disentangles the interactions between grandparenting, quality of life, and life satisfaction in China. Using a panel dataset of 3,205 respondents in three waves of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) in 2011, 2013, and 2015, we find that grandparents who look after grandchildren are less at risk of depression, receive more financial and in-kind transfers from their children, and report greater life satisfaction than grandparents who do not look after grandchildren. These benefits vary across gender and rural-urban status, however. The positive effect of grandparenting is driven mainly by the direct effect with negligible mediating effect attributable to better quality of life.

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