This study examines the factors that determine adult children's financial support for elderly parents, using data from the China Survey on Support Systems for the Elderly conducted in 1992. The findings support the hypotheses of need-based transfers. In both urban and rural areas, children's financial transfers to their elderly parents are based on the parents' need, and familial support compensates for inequalities in elderly persons' access to public resources. The data also suggest that elderly support is an outcome of short- and long-term arrangements between generations. Elderly Chinese, especially those in urban areas, have short-term exchanges with their adult children, providing housing or other services and receiving financial support in return. Also, adult children's support for elderly parents may be a repayment of parental investment made in them earlier.
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