Volume 10 - Article 8 | Pages 197–230  

Population aging and the extended family in Taiwan: A new model for analyzing and projecting living arrangements

By Andrew Mason, Sang-Hyop Lee

Abstract

Population aging produces changes in the availability of kin with uncertain implications for extended living arrangements. We propose a highly stylized model that can be used to analyze and project age-specific proportions of adults living in extended and nuclear households. The model is applied to Taiwan using annual data from 1978-1998. We estimate cohort and age effects showing that more recently born cohorts of seniors are less likely to live in extended households, but that as seniors age the proportion living in extended households increases.
The effect of individual aging has diminished over time, however. The proportion of non-senior adults living in extended households has increased steadily because changes in the age structure have increased the availability of older kin. The model is used to project living arrangements and we conclude that the proportion living in extended households will begin to decline gradually for both seniors and non-seniors. The extended family is becoming less important in Taiwan, but it is not on the way out.

Author's Affiliation

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