Work Pattern as Family Strategy in Rural China

Jing Song, Brown University

The study uses the 2006 wave of The China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) to investigate how individual characteristics, household dynamics, and market conditions impact the agricultural/ nonagricultural work patterns of rural couples by categorizing the patterns into the “both agricultural,” “husband nonagricultural,” “wife nonagricultural,” “both nonagricultural” types. The results of multinomial logistic regressions provide evidence that the division of labor between spouses is not purely determined by individual characteristics. Comparing the “both agricultural” and the “both nonagricultural” types, husband’s and wife’s education are positively associated with their involvement in nonagricultural work. Furthermore, the presence of parents or parents-in-law, the smaller number of children, and the fact of being in a suburban area rather than in a village all facilitate the switch from agricultural to nonagricultural work. But the “husband nonagricultural” and the “wife nonagricultural” types are not effectively predicted by factors of human capital, family workload, and market conditions.

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Presented in Poster Session 6