Working Paper Series

ICE WP#2024-002

How Do Public Pensions Reshape Eldercare and Social Norms with Son Preference? Evidence from China
公共养⽼⾦如何重塑养⽼和重男轻⼥的社会规范?—— 来⾃中国的证据

April 12, 2024

by Naijia Guo, Wei Huang, Ruixin Wang

R&R at Journal of Development Economics


We exploit variations in the timing of the New Rural Pension Scheme across counties in rural China and analyze how the pension affects outcomes related to eldercare and social norms over the life cycle. We obtain three different but coherent findings: (1) married sons, not married daughters, are less likely to live with and take care of their parents; (2) parents reduce bride price to their sons but do not change dowry to their daughters; and (3) the sex ratio is less biased. Pension provision reshapes the eldercare mode and leads to a more balanced preference between sons and daughters.


我们利用中国农村各县在实施新型农村社会养老保险计划(新农保)时间上的差异,分析了新农保如何影响人们照顾老人的模式和相关社会规范的结果。我们得出了三个不同但一致的结论:(1) 新农保会显著降低已婚儿子而非女儿与父母同住并照顾父母的可能性;(2) 新农保使得父母减少给儿子的彩礼,但不改变给女儿的嫁妆;(3) 性别比例差异进一步被缩小。新农保提供的养老金重塑了农村地区照顾老人的模式,并使得父母在生育时对儿子和女儿之间的偏好更加平衡。

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