Fang, Hanming

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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Publication
    The Long-Term Consequences of Family Planning in Old Age: Evidence from China's "Later, Longer, Fewer" Campaign
    (2019-05-20) Chen, Yi; Fang, Hanming
    Family planning plays a central role in contemporary population policies. However, little is known about its long-term consequences in old age. In this study, we examine how family planning policies implemented in China in the early 1970s affect the quality of life of the Chinese elderly forty years later. The direction of the effect is theoretically unclear. On the one hand, having fewer children allows parents to reallocate more resources to themselves, improving their well-being. On the other hand, having fewer children also leads to less care and companionship from children in old age. To empirically investigate the effect of family planning, we identify the causal impact by exploiting the provincial heterogeneity in implementing the "Later, Longer, Fewer" (LLF) policies in the early 1970s. We find that the LLF policies greatly reduced the number of children born to couples by 0.85. Parents also receive less support from children in terms of living arrangements, inter vivos transfers, and emotional support. Finally, we find that the impacts of the family planning policies on elderly parent's physical and mental well-being are drastically different: whereas parents who are more exposed to the family planning policies consume more and enjoy slightly better physical health status, they report more severe depression symptoms.
  • Publication
    “Golden Ages”: A Tale of the Labor Markets in China and the United States
    (2021-12-14) Fang, Hanming; Qiu, Xincheng
    We study the labor markets in China and the United States, the two largest economies in the world, by examining the evolution of their cross-sectional age-earnings profiles during the past thirty years. We find that, first, the peak age in the cross-sectional age-earnings profiles, which we refer to as the “golden age,” stayed almost constant at around 45-50 in the U.S., but decreased sharply from 55 to around 35 in China; second, the age-specific earnings grew drastically in China, but stayed almost stagnant in the U.S.; third, the cross-sectional and life-cycle age-earnings profiles were remarkably similar in the U.S., but differed substantially in China. We propose and empirically implement a decomposition framework to infer from the repeated cross-sectional earnings data the experience effect (i.e., human capital accumulation over the life cycle), the cohort effect (i.e., inter-cohort human capital growth), and the time effect (i.e., changes in the human capital rental prices over time), under an identifying assumption that the growth of the experience effect stops at the end of one’s working career. The decomposition suggests that China has experienced a much larger inter-cohort productivity growth and higher increase in the rental price to human capital, but lower returns to experience, compared to the U.S. We also use the inferred components to revisit several important and classical applications in macroeconomics and labor economics, including growth accounting and the estimation of TFP growth, and the college wage premium and skill-biased technical change.
  • Publication
    Family Companionship and Elderly Suicide: Evidence from the Chinese Lunar New Year
    (2021-03-09) Fang, Hanming; Lei, Ziteng; Lin, Liguo; Zhang, Peng
    Mental health problems among the elderly have attracted increasing attention. The most serious mental health problems may result in suicide, and lack of family companionship is often speculated to be a major cause. In this paper, we use high-frequency suicide rate data and utilize a novel temporal variation in the lunisolar calendar to provide evidence on the protective effects of the Chinese Lunar New Year (when the elderly people receive unusually high level of family companionship) on elderly suicide. We find that elderly suicide rate decreases by 8.7% during the Chinese Lunar New Year. In addition, the protective effects are stronger in counties where the typical level of daily family companionship for the elderly is lower. By contrast, we do not find similar protective effects for young and middle-age cohorts. We consider a variety of alternative mechanisms, and conclude that family companionship is an important channel for the protective effects of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Our study calls for greater attention to the mental health status and suicide problem of the elderly, especially with the rapid population aging and increasing prevalence of the “empty-nest” elderly in developing countries.
  • Publication
    Detecting Potential Overbilling in Medicare Reimbursement via Hours Worked
    (2016-04-18) Fang, Hanming; Gong, Qing
    Almost 3% of physicians who serve Medicare Part B Fee-for-Service (FFS) patients bill Medicare for services that would take more than 100 hours per week to provide – an implausible number – in this novel and easy-to-implement approach to detect potential overbilling based on the hours implied by actual billing codes.
  • Publication
    The State of Mental Health Among the Elderly Chinese
    (2020-01-15) Chen, Yi; Fang, Hanming
    China introduced its stringent family planning policies from the early 1970s, known as the "Later, Longer, Fewer" policies, and followed it with the One-Child Policy from 1979. The number of children born to Chinese parents significantly decreased from 5.7 in late 1960s to 2.5 in 1988. In Chen and Fang (2019), we show that family planning policies have drastically different effects on elderly parents' physical and mental well-beings. Whereas parents more exposed to the family planning policies consume more and enjoy slightly better physical health status, they report more severe depression symptoms. In this paper, we present a more complete picture of the difference in mental health among residents in rural and urban areas, between males and females, between different education groups, between those with one child and those with more than one children, and between widowed and non-widowed. We highlight the role of family support (from children and spouse) for the mental health status among the elderly Chinese.
  • Publication
    Long-Term Care Insurance Financing Using Home Equity Release: Evidence from an Online Experimental Survey
    (2022-01-14) Hanewald, Katja; Bateman, Hazel; Fang, Hanming; Ho, Tin Long
    This paper explores new mechanisms to fund long-term care using housing wealth. Using data from an online experimental survey fielded to a sample of 1,200 Chinese homeowners aged 45-64, we assess the potential demand for new financial products that allow individuals to access their housing wealth to buy long-term care insurance. We find that access to housing wealth increases the stated demand for long-term care insurance. When they could only use savings, participants used on average 5% of their total (hypothetical) wealth to purchase long-term care insurance. When they could use savings and a reverse mortgage, participants used 15% of their total wealth to buy long-term care insurance. With savings and home reversion, they used 12%. Reverse mortgages do not require regular payments until the home is sold, while home reversion involves a partial sale and leaseback. Our results inform the design of new public or private sector programs that allow individuals to access their housing wealth while still living in their homes.
  • Publication
    The Effects of Child-Bearing Policies in Remarriages: Evidence from China
    (2013-04-01) Fang, Hanming; Lin, Wanchuan
    In this paper we document the fertility policies for remarried couples in the People's Republic of China, and investigate their effects on the women's first marriages. Our evidence suggests that the child-bearing policies in remarriages have a significant effect on the characteristics of first marriages, including the ages of first marriage for the women, age gap, age of first child birth, age lapsed between first marriage and first child birth, number of children, and the divorce rates. We also plan to investigate whether these results are consistent with a forward-looking marriage model.
  • Publication
    The Chinese Pension System
    (2018-09-12) Fang, Hanming; Feng, Jin
    We provide a detailed overview of the current state of the Chinese pension system, as well as its development, its problems and some ideas for future reforms