The role of family reciprocity within the welfare state in intergenerational transfers for home ownership: Evidence from Chongqing, China

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Worldwide, housing is increasingly unaffordable for young people, many of whom rely on intergenerational transfers of assets to enter home ownership. This paper aims to qualitatively analyze the impacts of the welfare state and family reciprocity on young people's opportunity to access home ownership. Evidence from in-depth interviews with parents and young adults from Chongqing, Southwest China, shows that intergenerational transfers play an indispensable role in young people's opportunity to access home ownership. Such transfers are mainly motivated by the expectation of generalized reciprocity for old age care. The welfare state plays a role by lessening the pressure of unwanted reciprocity. Families with a local urban background, who tend to have more access to public welfare due to China's dualist welfare system, are less eager to invest in intergenerational transfers or expect less reciprocity if they are transferred. We argue that policies that encourage homeownership and that restrict social rental housing will put pressures on families and could potentially offset the policy intentions to improve the fertility rate and labor force participation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102897
Number of pages11
JournalCities
Volume106
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • China
  • Family reciprocity
  • Home ownership
  • Intergenerational transfers
  • Young people

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