Living together with children and elderly: the impact of family structure on the consumption of migrants and residents in urban China

  • Yueping Song
  • Jingwen Zhang
Original Article


Using data from the first wave of the “China Family Dynamic Survey” conducted in 2014, this study compares the impact on consumption of the presence of children or elderly people in migrant households and to that in urban resident households, and then examines the extent to which lack of access to public services might explain the differences in consumption patterns that do exist. The results indicate that migrant households with infants and toddlers increase their consumption of healthcare services, while those with preschool children increase their consumption of educational services. Migrant households with elderly members significantly increase their consumption of healthcare services. The comparison of migrant households with urban resident households shows that there are considerable differences between migrant households and urban resident households in terms of how educational and healthcare expenditures are affected by the presence of children and elderly. The differences grow out of a huge gap in the accessibility of low-cost, subsidized public preschool education and government-funded health insurance programs.


Children Elderly Migrant households Urban resident households Consumption 



This research is supported by “Beijing Social Science Fund” (No.15JGB077) of China.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Health Science ResearchRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Sociology and Population StudiesRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina

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