Housing assets to the elderly in urban China: to fund or to hedge?

Zan Yang, Ying Fan, Cindy Hiu ying Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Housing has become the most important asset held by a large proportion of China’s older citizens. Therefore, the role of housing wealth in the consumption decisions of the elderly is a central topic of research and gains insights into the saving, investment and consumption decisions made throughout household life to meet later pension needs. In this paper, using data drawn from a household survey conducted between 2002 and 2009, we estimate the influence of housing wealth on the non-housing consumption of the elderly, and identify the mechanisms underlying this relationship. We find that on average, changes in housing wealth have limited effects on elderly consumption. However, we also find that the role of housing in consumption differs according to the income, health status, and living arrangements of the elderly. The paper draws attention to the influence of housing and its links with social and health-care systems on the lives of older people, with important policy implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-658
Number of pages21
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2017


  • Elderly consumption
  • fund
  • hedge
  • housing assets
  • social and health-care systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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