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Analyzing How China's Elderly Finance Their Consumption

The OIA Seminar Series have hosted on 25th November  Dr. Albert Park (University of Oxford; Yan Shen, Peking University) on a lecture entitled: 'Relying on Whom? Analyzing How China's Elderly Finance Their Consumption'.

China is experiencing rapid aging at an early stage of development.
Modernization, large-scale migration, fewer children, and immature public
pension programs pose additional challenges to providing adequate support
for all of China's elderly.  In this paper, we analyze detailed data on
income, consumption, and public and private transfers from the China Health
and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) conducted in Gansu and Zhejiang
Provinces in 2008 to better understand the extent to which the elderly rely
on own income (including pensions), income for other family members, public
transfers, private transfers, and dissaving to finance their consumption.
We focus particular attention on how these mechanisms affect vulnerability
of the elderly to consumption poverty.   We find that private support
mechanisms appear to be relatively successful in supporting consumption of
the elderly, and discuss whether such mechanisms are likely to erode in the

Albert Park is Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford, and a
Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) and the Center
for Economic Policy Research (CEPR).  He completed his Ph.D. at Stanford in
1996 and was previously Assistant Professor and Associate Professor (with
tenure) of economics at the University of Michigan. He is a development and
labor economist whose research focuses on the Chinese economy.  In recent
years, he has published papers on migration and poverty, re-employment of
dislocated urban workers, rising returns to education, human capital
investments (education and health), wage inequality, and the impact of
poverty alleviation programs.  Currently he co-directs several large-scale
household survey projects in China: the China Health and Retirement
Longitudinal Study, the China Urban Labor Survey, and the Gansu Survey of
Children and Families. He has consulted for the World Bank on China's
poverty assessment, the impact of education reforms, rural-urban inequality,
urban social service provision, and unemployment in China.

> Further information about Michealmas OIA 2010 Seminar Series