How Does Public Assistance Affect Family Expenditures? The Case of Urban Chinaedit
Using recent national household survey data and a propensity score matching method, this study examines the effects of urban China’s primary public assistance program–Minimum Living Standard Assistance (MLSA)–on family expenditures, an important yet understudied indicator of family material well-being. We find that families receiving MLSA prioritized human capital investment (i.e., paying for education and health) rather than making the ends meet (e.g., paying for food, clothing, rent, and utilities). The policy implications of these findings are discussed.