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Elder-care, Gender, and Son Preference: The role of cultural transmission and diffusion during the process of rural-urban migration in China Xiaoyi Jin.

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Presentation on theme: "Elder-care, Gender, and Son Preference: The role of cultural transmission and diffusion during the process of rural-urban migration in China Xiaoyi Jin."— Presentation transcript:

1 Elder-care, Gender, and Son Preference: The role of cultural transmission and diffusion during the process of rural-urban migration in China Xiaoyi Jin 1,2 Shuzhuo Li (Principal Investigator) 1 Marcus W. Feldman 2 and Haifeng Du 1,2 1 Institute for Population and Development Studies Xi’an Jiaotong University 2 Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies Stanford University

2 CONTENTS 1. Background 2. Study Design 3. Survey & Data 4. Results 4.1 Brief characteristics of respondents 4.2 General features of out-migrating children and parents 4.3 Impact of social network on attitude evolution 4.4 Impact of out-migration on financial support 4.5 Summary 5. Analysis in progress

3 1. BACKGROUND Rural-urban migration  Household registration system (hukou) before 1978, confined most Chinese citizens to their place of birth;  Economic reforms since 1978 caused a significant rural labor surplus (the real unemployment rate is 34.8% for rural areas);  Urban-biased and pro-coastal development policy enabled cities to achieve rapid economic growth and attracted labor migration from rural to urban areas since the mid-1980s;  140 million rural migrants residing in cities without required permanent legal status, 30% of rural labor force;  Circular migrants, moving back and forth frequently between rural and urban areas. Increasingly important in Chinese demographic change and social development.

4 Features  Urban population grows much faster than total population, especially in ;  Rural-urban migration turns out to be the dominant source of Chinese urban growth in ;  Most migration takes place across provinces, from inland rural areas to coastal urban areas;  Distances matter in the migration; 1. Provinces having the highest proportion of emigration: Sichuan (19%), Henan (14%), Anhui (11%), Hunan (8%), and Jianxi (6%); 2. Provinces having the highest proportion of immigration: Guangdong (31%), Zhejiang (10%), and Fujian (6%).

5 1. BACKGROUND Evolution of attitudes and behaviors  Rural areas: Strict patrilineal family system, low economic development level & strong son preference;  Urban areas: Son preference has been weakened by the process of modernization and improvement of the social security system;  Rural-urban migrants: Dramatic change of lifestyle and formation of new social networks have influenced their attitudes and behaviors.


7 Rural-urban migrants at a city railway station Strange environment: Eager eyes

8 Walking on the downtown street Rural-urban migrants and a permanent urban resident

9 1. BACKGROUND Phenomena: The original, strongly male-biased culture and behaviors are influenced by the modern culture in cities (evidence from two survey: “A Survey of Female Migrants in Pudong, Shanghai”, 2002; “A Survey of Rural-urban Migrants in Shenzhen”, 2005)  Later marriage 1,2 ;  Later childbearing 1 ; still with high SRB (Sex Ratio at Birth)  Weakened son preference 1,3 but still with high SRB (Sex Ratio at Birth) in short term 1,4 ; Aging & old-age support  Increased problems for elderly non-migrants 5 Source: 1. Research report, “A survey of rural-urban migrants in Shenzhen, China”, Dec Jin, Xiaoyi, et. al Impacts of social network and integration on first marriage of female rural-urban immigrants: Evidence from survey in Pudong, Shanghai, Population and Economics (4): Li Shuzhuo, Wu Haixia, and Marcus W. Feldman “Social network and son preference of rural-urban migrants in China: The case of Shenzhen”. Seminar on Female Deficit in Asia: Trends and Perspectives, December 5-7. Singapore 4. Wu Haixia, Li Shuzhuo, and Yang Xusong “Rural-urban migration and sex ratio at birth in urban China.” Population and Economics (6): Zeng, Yi and James Vaupel The impact of urbanization and delayed childbearing on population growth and aging in China. Population and Development Review 15 (3):

10 1. BACKGROUND Questions: Old-age support & son preference  How does the restructured social network influence migrants’ attitudes and behaviors towards aging life and son preference?  How does gender of the migrants influence intergenerational transfer?  Will the out-migration of females influence the traditional patrilineal pattern of old-age support?  Do the migrants give more financial help to their parents remaining in rural areas?  How much emotional support do elderly non-migrants receive from their out-migrating children?  Is the intergenerational transfer reciprocal?

11 2.1 Objectives  Migrants’ social networks in urban areas and integration into urban societies;  Evolution of attitudes and behaviors and their socio- demographic implications;  Complex network models;  Policy suggestions to improve social integration and sustainable development. 2. STUDY DESIGN

12 2.2 Methods  Methodology: Combining methods of sociology, demography, statistics, and complexity science, etc.  Quantitative methods Social survey Statistical analysis Social network analysis Simulation Public policy analysis

13 2.3 Framework

14 Shenzhen, Guangdong province  Location: South of Guangdong;  History: Set up in 1979, established as “special economic region” in 1980;  Features: Representative of coastal and well-developed cities in China;  Six districts: Luohu, Futian, Nanshan, Yantian, Bao’an and Longgang;  Economy: High-tech, advanced manufacturing and service industries; the 4th highest GDP among Chinese cities in  Population (2000 census)  Total number: 7,008,800  Average age: 30.8  Ratio of migrants to permanent urban residents: 4.3:1  Features: High density, Rapid increase, Low education level of labor force 3.1 Selection of Survey Sites 3. SURVEY & DATA


16 Shenzhen

17 3.2 Survey Components and Sampling Survey Survey components  Community investigation, in-depth interviews and focus group discussion  Random street interviews  Respondents: Permanent urban residents and rural-urban migrants  4 survey sites: Commercial streets  Implementation: April 18, 2005, 1 day  Number of qualifying questionnaires: 1,011  Sampling survey (details are shown as follows)  Respondents: Rural-urban migrants

18 3.2.2 Sampling Survey  Classification of the respondents in sampling survey  Scattered residence: rural-urban migrants living in communities with high or medium proportion of permanent urban residents;  Concentrated residence: rural-urban migrants living together within a relatively concentrated community, with few permanent urban residents.

19 Sampling survey Survey sitesSample typesSizeRemarks Nanshan Scattered residence in a village209 Survey sites of concentrated residence: 3 Survey sites of scattered residence: 5 Total samples: 1739 Concentrated residence in 2 construction companies Scattered residence224 Luohu Scattered residence252 Scattered residence250 YantianScattered residence253 Longgang Concentrated residence in 1 company 200 Bao’an Concentrated residence in 2 companies  Duration of the sampling survey: April 20-27, 2005  Composition of the sampling survey: Sampling Survey

20 Survey sites(1): Concentrated residence Dormitory of Airmate company, most of the workers living together Respondents of Airmate are from one of the buildings, they live in the same floor and undertake the same kind of work. Entrance of Airmate Co. Entrance of Airmate Co.

21 Dormitory Dormitory Interviews Interviews Survey sites(1): Concentrated residence

22 Survey sites(2): Scattered residence Survey sites(2): Scattered residence

23  Contents of the questionnaire Sampling Survey

24  Sampling: methods and principles  Scattered residence: Systematic sampling 4 townships of 3 districts: Luohu, Yantian, and Nanshan  Concentrated residence: Cluster sampling 2 construction companies and 3 manufacturing companies in 3 districts: Nanshan, Longgang and Bao’an Sampling Survey

25  Network data collection  Ego Network -Data collected from “Scattered & Concentrated Residence”  Respondents from Scattered Residence live dispersed among various communities, most of them have no contact with each other;  Data for statistical analysis.  Whole Network -Data collected from “Concentrated Residence”  Respondents from Concentrated Residence live in the same community or dormitory (factories or construction sites) ; they are likely to know each other_ socio-matrix can be structured;  Data for social network analysis, and complexity studies Sampling Survey




29 4. RESULTS 4.1 Brief characteristics of respondents Total No. of Samples: 1739Percent (%) GenderNationality Male (888 samples)51.1 Han96.5 Female (851 samples)48.9 Minority3.5 AgeMarriage Never-married Ever-married Average monthly income (yuan) Situation before entering Shenzhen 04.0 Temporary laborers in other cities Farmers ~ Rural students ~ No. of jobs ever had since entering Shenzhen 1500 ~ ~ Average years in Shenzhen6.78(years) 220.6Way of entering Shenzhen 310.6With fellow-villagers, family members or others Alone37.1 Demographics of the samples from sampling survey

30 Occupations of the samples for sampling survey

31 4. RESULTS 4.2 General features of out-migrating children and parents  Basic information of parents  Intergenerational support (financial, grandchild-care, emotional support)  Discussion network about aging life (network size, basic information of network members)  Attitudes toward future aging life  Comparison between migrants and city residents








39 4. RESULTS 4.3 Impact of social network on attitude evolution Analysis Framework Overall effect of network members = Ii: degree of intimacy of network member i, Ai: attitude of network member i; Weak ties: Network members are Managers, Owners of private enterprise, Professional and technical personnel, and Officers.



42 4. RESULTS 4.4 Impact of out-migration on financial support Analysis Framework

43 4. RESULTS 4.4 Impact of out-migration on financial support Regression models Dependent variables1.Whether increase the amount of financial support to parents after migration (Logistic Regression Model) 2. Amount of financial support to parents after migration (OLS Regression Model) Independent variableGender of out-migrating children Control variablesMigration experiences: Years since first out-migration, times back home per year Individual characteristics: Age, education, number of offspring, spouse living in home town, income, spouse ’ s income, current financial help to other set of parents Parents ’ characteristics: Survival status, age, physical status, coresiding with individual ’ s children, coresiding with other married children, main source of income, current financial help to child




47  Basic characteristics of parents:  Parents of married children, especially parents of husbands, are older, more likely to live with grandchildren and rely on their children financially;  Gender difference: Consequence of Patrilineal family system  Stronger financial transfer between unmarried sons and parents;  Husbands’ parents receive more financial help and provide more childcare;  Unmarried daughters give more emotional support to parents;  Married daughters give balanced emotional support to two sets of parents.  Impact of children ’ s out-migration on old parents:  Increasing financial help  Decreasing emotional support and excess burden of child-care; 4. RESULTS 4.5 Summary

48  Discussion network about aging life  Smaller than marriage and childbearing discussion networks;  Strong ties (blood and geographical relations) are dominant but not in marriage and contraceptive use discussion networks.  Attitudes toward future aging life  More options for aging life after migration;  Females are influenced more significantly by urban culture.  Comparison of migrants and permanent urban residents  Rural migrants are more likely to rely on saving and children. 4. RESULTS 4.5 Summary

49  Impact of discussion network on attitude evolution  Attitudes of discussion network members significantly influence migrants’ attitudes towards old-age life and son preference;  Migration increases the likelihood of having a plan for living apart from children;  Weak ties in the discussion network and longer duration of living in cities weaken individual’s son preference; → Rural-urban migration helps to accelerate the process of attitude evolution. 4.5 Summary 4. RESULTS

50  Impact of out-migration of married children on financial support to parents  Both males and females provide more financial help to natal parents after migration → Out-migration of females could change the traditional pattern of old- age support and weaken son preference in rural China;  Gender difference: Females are likely to give parents-in-law more financial support → Patrilineal family system is still dominant;  Grandparents receive more remittance when they take care of grandchildren → Intergenerational transfer between parents and their migrant children is reciprocal. 4.5 Summary 4. RESULTS

51 5. Analysis in progress Impacts of network on individuals’ plans for old-age support:  Preference of living arrangements: Gender difference  Preference of old-age support pattern Impacts of out-migration on pattern of old-age support:  Family structure of the elderly  Pattern of intergenerational transfer: Before and after migration Impacts of out-migration on migrant’s parents:  Emotional well-being and health status  Excess burden of childcare Implications of female out-migration:  New pattern of old-age support?  Mitigating son preference? Relaxing patrilineal family system? Policy suggestions

52 Thanks for your attention!

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