Welfare Participation and Time Use in China

Qin Gao, Shiyou Wu, Fuhua Zhai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Using the newly available China Family Panel Studies 2010 survey data and a propensity score matching method, this study examines the possible influence of participation in China’s primary welfare program, Dibao, on household head’s time use pattern in both urban and rural areas. We find that Dibao lowered recipients’ time spent on various leisure and social activities and increased their time spent on unspecified activities or being idle for both urban and rural residents. Urban Dibao recipients also tended to spend less time on education activities, while rural Dibao recipients spent less time on work activities but more time on personal care and household activities. These findings provide pioneering evidence on the possible link between welfare participation and time use patterns in the global welfare literature. As Dibao continues to expand, the empirical evidence from this article suggests that Dibao might have some unintended adverse effects on recipients, including less time spent on leisure and social activities, reduced time on work and education activities, and more time on being idle. Future reforms of Dibao and its supplementary policies and programs need to consider how best to promote both the economic and holistic well-being of the participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-887
Number of pages25
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 29 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Dibao
  • Propensity score matching
  • Time use
  • Welfare participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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