Institute for Economic and Social Research

Seminar | Yuting Bai, Hunan University


Time: 2023/06/01(Thu.), 14:00 – 15:30(Beijing Time)

Title:    The nonlinear effect of childbearing on cognitive functioning in old age: evidence from rural China

Venue: Zhonghui Buidling 106

About the speaker:

Yuting Bai is an assistant professor from Center for Economics, Finance, and Management Studies at Hunan University. She earned her Ph.D. in Economics from State University of New York at Buffalo in 2021. Her research interests include urban economics, labor economics, and health economics.


Late-life cognition is a growing concern as populations grow older. This study investigates the causal impact of fertility on late-life cognition among elderly adults in rural China. Using China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study data, we test a model which suggests nonlinear effects along the fertility dimension. We use an instrumental variable approach by exploiting the rollout of China’s Family Planning Policies as a source of exogenous variation in fertility. Our empirical findings reveal a significant inverted-U shaped relationship (peaking at 3 children) between fertility and mental intactness and graphic cognition. In terms of mechanisms, higher fertility levels are associated with increased interaction and financial support from offspring. However, individuals with higher fertility are also more likely to experience dementia-related chronic conditions, functional limitations, and engage in fewer physical activities.


Copyright © 2019 Institute for Economic and Social Research ICP record No.: Yue ICP Bei No. 12087612