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The health implications of social pensions: Evidence from China's new rural pension scheme

Lingguo Cheng, Hong Liu, Ye Zhang and Zhong Zhao ()

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2018, vol. 46, issue 1, 53-77

Abstract: This paper estimates the causal effect of income on health outcomes of the elderly and investigates underlying mechanisms by exploiting an income change induced by the launch of China's New Rural Pension scheme (NRPS). Using this policy experiment, we address the endogeneity of pension income by applying a fixed-effect model with instrumental variable correction. The results reveal that pension enrollment and income from the NRPS both have had a significant beneficial impact on objective measures of physical health and cognitive function of the rural elderly. Pension recipients respond to the newly acquired pension income in multiple ways: improved nutrition intake, better accessibility to health care, increased informal care, increased leisure activities, and better self-perceived relative economic situation. These in turn act as channels from pension income to health outcomes of the Chinese rural elderly.

Keywords: Pension income; Health; Channels; Elderly; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H55 I12 I38 J14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Working Paper: The Health Implications of Social Pensions: Evidence from China's New Rural Pension Scheme (2016) Downloads
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