Mingming Ma


Welcome to my webpage!  I am a Ph.D candidate in Economics at University of Southern California. I had my bachelor's degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China and master's degree from Tsinghua University, China. My research interests are Health Economics, Economics of Aging, Development Economics, Economics of Education and Applied Microeconomics.

I am on the job market this year (2017-2018) and will be attending the ASSA Annual meeting in Philadelphia, PA on January 5-7, 2018.

Job Market Paper

Does Children’s Education Matter for Parents’ Health and Cognition in Old Age?

Abstract: Past works have shown the significance of inter-generational transmission of human capital, from parents to offsprings mostly. However, whether there is also upward spillover remains understudied. Due to the insufficient social security network and traditional beliefs, Chinese elderly rely greatly on their children for old age support. This paper uses data from China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study to estimate the impact of educational attainment of adult children of Chinese elderly on various health and cognition outcomes in a developing but aging country setup. Identification is achieved by using the exposure of adult children to the compulsory education reform around 1986 in China and its enforcement intensity as instruments for their years of schooling. The IV estimation results show that increasing years of education of adult children lead to higher level of cognitive functions of parents including both episodic memory and mental intactness. Parents with more educated children are also less likely to be underweight, more likely to be overweight and have higher subjective survival expectations and better lung function. Suggestive results show that adult children's education could work through social support, access to resources provision and motivations to affect parental health in old age.


Department of Economics

University of Southern California

3620 S. Vermont Ave KAP Hall 300

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0253

Phone: (213) 810 - 8606

Email: mingminm@usc.edu

Google site: https://sites.google.com/usc.edu/mingmingma/

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John Strauss (chair)

Professor of Economics and Gerontology

University of Southern California



Eileen Crimmins

AARP Professor of Gerontology, University Professor

University of Southern California



Cheng Hsiao

Professor of Economics

University of Southern California



Jeff Nugent

Professor of Economics and Business

University of Southern California