Demographic Change, Intergenerational Transfers, and the Challenges for Social Protection Systems in the People's Republic of China

Publication | November 2011

There is a growing awareness of the social strains accompanying economic growth in the People's Republic of China, such as the lagging development of the social protection system as the population ages. Using estimates from the National Transfer Accounts database, Qiulin Chen, Karen Eggleston, and Ling Li describe changes in life cycle public transfers; interhousehold transfers; and intrahousehold transfers for education, health care, and other support; and discuss the main challenges that demographic change poses for the People's Republic of China's pension and health care systems. They argue that demographic change and its interaction with family behavior and social policies will strongly shape both future economic growth - through savings and investment decisions, labor supply, and productivity - and the sustainability of social support systems.


  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Demographic Change and Economic Transition
  • Changing Intergenerational Transfers
  • Challenges for the Social Protection System: Pension and Health Care Policies
  • Conclusions and Policy Discussion
  • References