Do Sons or Daughters Give More Money to Parents in Urban China?

Authors


Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research, 426 Thompson Street, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 (e-mail: yuxie@umich.edu).

Abstract

The patriarchal structure of the traditional Chinese family suggests that sons, more than daughters, provide financial support to elderly parents. The norm of receiving support in old age primarily from sons, however, may have been undermined by dramatic demographic, economic, and cultural changes occurring over the last several decades in China, especially in urban areas. We examine gender differences in adult children’s financial support to parents using a recent data set (“Study of Family Life in Urban China”) collected in 1999 (N = 1,801). The results show that married daughters, especially those living with parents, provide more financial support to parents than married sons do. This significant gender difference can be primarily explained by daughters’ resources, such as education and income.

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