Economic Stress, Human Capital, and Families in Asia

12 January, 2016


How do economic shocks lead to detrimental long-term effects on human capital development?
Edited by Professor Jean Yeung (NUS Dept. of Sociology) and Dr. Yap Mui Teng, this book presents findings on the impact which global economic events have on policy, family structure, and the economic and socio-psychological well-being of individuals in Asia.

The 270 page book is a compilation of 15 essays that go beyond analysing the financial crisis to examine the effect of poverty, caused by job loss, low-wage employment, and natural disasters, on families in Asia.

Prof. Jean Yeung’s chapter, ‘Economic Stress and Health among Rural Chinese Elderly’, illustrates the plight of the elderly in rural China: over 75% of the oldest-old rural Chinese depend on their children and grandchildren both financially, and for care-giving. This raises questions on whether China has the ability to care for its elderly, given its unique demographic factors, and the fall in private and public support.

The book raises factors such as poor human capital development, emotional distress, health problems, changing fertility patterns, increased geographic movement, and less supportive parenting behaviour, linking them to a wide range of economic stresses experienced by families in Asia. In particular, vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women, children and low-skilled workers have been highlighted.

For more on the book, visit:

Photo credit: Springer