Sons, daughters, and differentiated tenure choice of multiple homes: evidence from urban China

Journal article

Multiple-home ownership has become an increasingly common phenomenon in Chinese cities.

In addition to the reasons that have been widely discussed, such as leisure and investment, households may also choose to purchase additional homes for their children. Whether families adjust the consumption of multiple homes according to the gender of their children has a profound impact on housing inequality and gender inequality.

Using household-level data from urban China, we investigate how and why having sons and daughters differentially affects the household tenure choice of multiple homes. We found a robust and positive impact of having sons on multiple-home ownership. Having at least one unmarried son of marriageable age significantly increases a family’s consumption of and demand for additional homes. The results are mainly heterogeneous across families with different levels of intra-family resources.

We confirm the mechanism behind the positive effect of adult unmarried sons on multiple-home ownership reflects the differentiated strategies developed by parents for the marriage of their sons.

Kangni Chai
Changchun Feng
Vol 35: Jan 2020
Sustainable Growth