Happiness Under One Roof? The Intergenerational Co-residence and Subjective Well-Being of Elders in China

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-765
Journal / PublicationJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number2
Online published28 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


This study investigates the relationship between intergenerational co-residence and the subjective well-being (SWB) of elders based on the individual-level panel data collected from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey from 2002 to 2014. We use the endogenous treatment effect model to minimize selection bias and estimate the causal impacts of intergenerational co-residence on parental SWB. In addition, we employ the individual fixed-effect model for robustness checks. Results corroborate that elders who live with their adult–children are happier than those who do not undergo such a living arrangement. We also investigate heterogeneous effects across geographical regions and demographic groups. Older people in rural areas who co-reside with their adult–children gain a more substantial co-residence effect compared with those in urban areas. Moreover, results are robust according to different specifications. Our findings provide useful implications for policymakers in promoting the SWB of elders. © 2020, Springer Nature B.V.

Research Area(s)

  • China, Co-residence, Living arrangements, Older people, Subjective well-being