Welfare Receipt Associated with Increased Spending on Health among Older Families in Rural China

Hanna Wang
June 08, 2021

Population aging in China has been one of the fastest in the world. This raises concerns about the health and well-being of older adults and poses major challenge for the Chinese health care system. In a new article published in the Journal of Aging & Social Policy, Yalu Zhang and Qin Gao examined whether welfare receipt was associated with changes in consumption on health among older families.

Using data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study and a propensity score matching method, the study found that welfare receipt was significantly associated with increased health expenditures of older families in rural but not in urban China. The authors also found that welfare receipt was associated with increased expenditures on informal health care in rural older families. However, welfare receipts did not boost expenditures on the clinic and hospital visits for either rural or urban families.

Findings from this research call for a comprehensive set of assistance and services to support the livelihood of older families and meet their medical and other needs, especially for those living in rural areas.

Read the Article: Does Welfare Receipt Change Consumption on Health among Older Families? The Case of China

Columbia Affiliations
China Center for Social Policy