Confucian Culture and Homeownership: Evidence from Chinese Families

Baiyi Wu, Wenlong Bian, Ying Xue, Hao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Different from prior studies that examined the impact of economic, demographic, and behavioral factors on homeownership, this paper adds to the literature by explaining homeownership from the Confucian culture. Based on the dataset of the 2011 China Household Finance Survey, the results showed that a household head with more siblings was more likely to own a house, suggesting the interdependence within family members; when we divided the sample into male and female groups according to the gender of the household head, we found that the “sibling effect” only existed in male household heads, and both sisters and brothers contributed to the increase in the likelihood of owning a house, suggesting strong son preference. Additionally, we found that the “sibling effect” mainly arose from household heads with low- and middle-income or those living in high sex-ratio regions, which further supported our arguments. Finally, we analyzed the evolution of the interdependence within families in homeownership due to two important economic and demographic policies in China’s history: the reform and opening-up policy and the one-child policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-202
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics


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