The Importance of Hukou Among Determinants of Social Engagement in Middle-Aged and Older Adults in China

Qian Xiong, Lancaster University

This paper explores whether the formal and informal social engagement differs by Hukou status and the importance of Hukou in explaining the difference. It will begin with reviewing previous theories and perspectives (disengagement, activity, continuity, social stratification, and feminist) that were developed in western societies to explain determinants of social engagement. This paper uses data on adults aged 45 and older from Wave 1 of China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey (CHARLS). Social engagement is measured by a scale of eleven social activities.

Multiple linear regression models are used to estimate composite scores incorporating the frequency of social activities. Significance of coefficients is used to determine whether Hukou has an effect on social engagement. Standardized coefficients and partial R square are used to gauge the importance of Hukou among other determinants in explaining social engagement in China.

Results show that holding agricultural Hukou is significantly associated with reduced formal and informal social engagement. Hukou accounts for greater variance in formal social engagement than other determinants as suggested by the literature, but similar Hukou effect on informal social engagement is less evident.

Presented in Poster Session 3