Institute for Economic and Social Research
601 W.Huangpu Ave.
Guangzhou, Guangdong 510632
Institutional Affiliation: Jinan University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2018||The Long-Term Consequences of Having Fewer Children in Old Age: Evidence from China’s “Later, Longer, Fewer” Campaign|
with Hanming Fang: w25041
Family planning plays a central role in contemporary population policies. However, little is known about its long-term consequences in old age because of the identification challenge. In this study, we examine how family planning affects the quality of life of the Chinese elderly. The direction of the effect is theoretically unclear. On the one hand, having fewer children allows parents to reallocate more resources to themselves, improving their well-being. On the other hand, having fewer children also leads to less care and companionship from children in old age. To empirically probe the effect of family planning, we identify the causal impact by exploiting the provincial heterogeneity in implementing the “Later, Longer, Fewer” policies in the early 1970s. We find that the policies greatl...