Division of family property in Taiwan

Rose Maria Li, Yu Xie, Hui Sheng Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Since property ownership affords the elderly some control over resources and perhaps even support and respect from potential caretakers, examination of the decision to transfer property to children can help us gain insight into the underlying dynamics of intergenerational exchanges between the elderly and their children. In this paper we use data from the 1989 Survey of Health and Living Status of the Elderly in Taiwan to explore the demographic and social characteristics associated with pre-mortem property division. From both bivariate and multivariate analyses, we find that the likelihood of property division is positively related to age, widowhood, natality in Taiwan, rural residence, and the number of living children, and negatively related to education. After controlling for other characteristics, our results show that widows are more than twice as likely as widowers to have divided all their property. These results lend statistical support to findings in the ethnographic literature on the Chinese family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-69
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


  • Asia
  • Chinese culture
  • inheritance
  • old age security
  • property transfer
  • resource control


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