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Spillover effects of adult children’s schooling on parents’ smoking cessation: evidence from China’s compulsory schooling reform
  1. Liyang Xie1,
  2. Wei Xu2,
  3. Yi Zhou3
  1. 1Health Policy Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2School of Finance, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, China
  3. 3Center for Social Research and Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Yi Zhou, Center for Social Research, Peking University, Beijing, China; yizhou{at}pku.edu.cn

Abstract

Objective As elderly parents today will share a longer life with their children than ever before, the spillover effects of children’s human capital on parents’ well-being become increasingly important. This study investigated whether children’s schooling leads parents to give up smoking and whether the effects were moderated by their education or child–parent contact frequency.

Methods Using data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, we conducted an instrumental variable (IV) analysis using China’s compulsory schooling reform in the 1980s as a natural experiment.

Results The IV estimates suggest that elderly parents of more highly educated children are more likely to quit smoking. Moreover, the effects are more significant among parents who had not finished primary school and also slightly stronger among parents who live close to their children or meet their children frequently.

Discussion Our findings add to current evidence regarding spillover effects of education on smoking cessation. A child’s education may exert an impact through the spillover of health knowledge.

  • gerontology
  • health behaviour
  • health inequalities
  • smoking
  • social epidemiology

Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository. The data used for this study is mainly from China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, which is a large-sample survey managed by Peking University. The data are publicly available from the website: charls.pku.edu.cn.

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Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository. The data used for this study is mainly from China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, which is a large-sample survey managed by Peking University. The data are publicly available from the website: charls.pku.edu.cn.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors This study was designed by LX and YZ. LX performed the statistical analysis. WX collaborated with YZ on analysing and interpreting the data. All authors contributed to drafting the manuscript.

  • Funding This study was funded by Humanities and Social Science Fund of Ministry of Education of China for Youth Scholars (Grant number: 19YJC840064).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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