The willingness and determinants of ageing persons to reside in nursing homes: an analysis based on survey data from 1218 ageing persons in 36 counties, 12 provinces in rural China

LYU Xuefeng1,2 YU Changyong3,4 YOU Xinbei3

(1.Department of Public Administration, Hubei Provincial Party School)
(2.Provincial Party School Research Base, Research Center of Theoretical System of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in Hubei Province)
(3.Department of Public Administration, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law)
(4.Post-doctoral Mobile Research Station of Applied Econometrics, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law)

【Abstract】This paper used descriptive statistics and a binary Logistics regression model to analyze the willingness of the elderly in rural areas to reside in nursing homes and its determinants, based on survey data on 1218 aged persons from 12 provincial-level regions in rural China and constructed the analytical framework by using the medical utilization model. The results showed that a large majority of the elderly in rural areas were not willing to reside in nursing homes. Determinants such as years of education, old-age insurance, region, family size and family deposits, significantly affected their willingness to reside in nursing homes. The more the years of education they received, the higher the old-age insurance payment would be. The larger the family size was, the less willing they were to reside in nursing homes. The elderly with more family deposits were more willing to choose institutional elderly care. The probabilities of rural elderly going to nursing homes in the central and western China were 0.514 and 0.422 times of that in the eastern region respectively. Further subjective explanations indicated that rural residents’ reluctance of choosing nursing homes was primarily due to living habits and beliefs, rather than their economic affordability. Therefore, the study confirms that institutional elderly care plays a supplementary role in elderly care. Measures such as enhancing public information and advocacy, encouraging ageing persons to save money for retirement, constructing enjoyable nursing institutions, can help to improve the willingness of the elderly to reside in nursing homes in rural areas.

【Keywords】 ageing person in rural area; residence in nursing home; willingness to reside in nursing home; behavioral model of health service use;


【Funds】 Youth Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China (71704190) General Projects of China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017M612543)

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    [1]. [1] Source: [^Back]

    [2]. [2] See Wu, Y. Guangzhou Daily (广州日报), (2015–11–8). [^Back]

    [3]. [3] When China entered aging society in 1999, the per capita GDP was only USD 947, namely, less than USD 1000. [^Back]

    [4]. [1] When we examine senility according to the proportion of the population aged 65 or above in the total population, we can see that 7% is slightly senile, 14% is deeply senile, and 20% is severely senile. [^Back]

    [5]. [2] When we examine the time spent for the proportion of the population over 65 years old to increase from 7% to 14%, we can see that France spent 115 years, Sweden spent 85 years, America spent 70 years, Canada spent 66 years, the UK spent 45 years, but China spent only 15 years. [^Back]

    [6]. [3] Mu and Mao (2017) pointed out that in theory, elderly care involved economic support, daily care, medical care and mental comfort. [^Back]

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    [10]. [1] See Xie, Q. Guangming Daily (光明日报), (2015–6–15). [^Back]

    [11]. [1] There is no necessary connection between the family size and the number of children, because there are still problems of family separation. The correlation analysis between the number of children and the family size shows that the correlation coefficients between the number of daughters as well as the number of sons and the family size are only 0.078 and 0.017, which shows a very weak correlation. It is likely that the family relationship actually plays a decisive role in the family size. Intergenerational relations have significantly positive impact on intergenerational support. In other words, the better the intergenerational relationship was, the higher the probability for the elderly people to receive intergenerational support would be (elderly care at home) (Xiong and Shi, 2016). This indirectly confirms rationality of the conclusion of this paper. That is the family size is negatively correlated with the willingness of the elderly in rural areas to receive institutional elderly care. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-3586/F

Vol , No. 04, Pages 102-116

July 2018


Article Outline



  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Literature review
  • 3 Research design
  • 4 Empirical analysis
  • 5 Robustness test
  • 6 Research conclusions and inspirations
  • Footnote