Jan Fidrmuc (Brunel University) - Grandparenting and life satisfaction in China

Co-authors: Hao Wang (Shenzen University) and Qi Luo (Guangdong University of Finance and Economics)

The literature on the effect of grandparent caregiving on wellbeing of the elderly has yet to reach a consensus. This paper disentangles the interactions between grandparenting, quality of life, and life satisfaction in the case of China. We use a panel dataset consisting of 4340 respondents in three waves of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) in 2011, 2013, and 2015. Our results show that grandparents who look after grandchildren are less likely to report symptoms of depression, receive more financial and in-kind transfers from their children, and report greater life satisfaction. These effects of grandparenting vary across gender and rural-urban status. Further, the positive effect of grandparenting is driven mainly by the direct effect with negligible mediating effect attributable to better quality of life.

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