Equity in Informal Care among Dependent Older People in China

Yixiao Wang , King's College London

Population ageing are fuelling concerns over need for informal careā€”the most common source of caregiving for older people in China. Despite its great importance, there is still a lack of a better understanding about the distribution of informal care received by dependent older adults, in particular regarding whether there is income-related inequity in the receipt of informal care and in the intensity of informal care. Drawing data from the 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014 waves of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, this study explores the relationship between income and informal care among dependent older people in China. I first calculate income-related inequity in receipt of informal care and in the intensity of informal care in 4 waves, using Concentration Indices. Then I use panel data to control for individual-specific unobservable heterogeneity, trying to examine the effects of income more deeply. Our finding suggests for the whole sample and those with severe limitations, older people with higher income are more likely to receive informal care, compared with the worse-off. And this impact is much stronger for those with severe limitations. But we do not observe the same effects of income on the receipt of informal care for dependent older people with mild limitations. Unlike the results of Concentration Indices in four waves, higher income does not translate into higher intensity of informal care for the whole sample, based on panel data analyses. These findings highlight a pressing need for the government to buttress informal care for those with low income.

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 Presented in Session 55. Caregiving