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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Yifei Hou

Yifei Hou
Yifei Hou
Sociology School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Quantitative Methods in Social Research, Family Demography, Health policy, Kinship

PhD Title

Time Assistance to Nonresident Elderly Parents in China: The Coaction of Sibling Substitution, Proximity and Gendered Kinship Selection

My research studied  within-family determinants of caregiving(measured in time and money) to nonresident elderly parents in China using data from China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study( The findings support geographic isolation hypothesis , substitution effect of having brothers, gendered caregiving (daughters are more likely to care, but sons provide more care once involved ) and interactive effect of caregiver’s gender and kinship type(daughter-in-law highly significant).  Evidence shows important connectedness of married daughter to biological parents . The finding helps to impact medical insurance policy reformation to relax geographic restrictions and give more attention to "empty-nested" elderly.

Dissertation Title:

Time Assistance to Nonresident Elderly Parents in China: The Coaction of Sibling Substitution, Proximity and Gendered Kinship Selection


09/2015-Present   The University of Edinburgh, UK
Major: Sociology by Research    Degree: MScR Sociology(with Distinction)
GPA 3.75/4.0
09/2011-07/2015    Sun Yat-sen University, China
Major: Economics          Degree: Bsc in Economics     GPA 3.9/4.0
Exchange Experiences and training:
   Spring Semester, 2016       University of Oxford(Courses: Casual Inference, Data Visualization, Process Tracing)
   Summer Semester, 2014     University of Hong Kong

Papers & Presentations                                                       

11/2016:  Hou, Y. & Janus, A., 2016. Norms and Behaviors: Individual and Family Determinants in Elder Caregiving in China. In The Gerontological Society of America’s 69th Annual Scientific Meeting:“International Perspectives on Family Caregiving.” New Orleans, LA: The Gerontological Society of America.
05/2016: Hou, Y., 2016. Individual and Family Determinants of Eldercare in China: Evidence from China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study. In 016 RC06 Conference on Family Research: “Social Change and Family Developments.” Institute of Sociology, CASS, Beijing, China: International Sociological Association(ISA) and China Acadamy of Social Sciences(CASS).
02/2016: Hou, Y., 2016. Determinants of Eldercare in China: An International Comparison. In New Directions Conference. Old College, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
04/2015: Hou, Y., 2015. Environmental Regulations and Trade Structure: Testing Pollution Haven Effect from Trade Composition of China. Internal Conference of International Business School, Sun Yat-sen University, China .
10/2013 How Far is Shanghai from Nanjing: Border Effects Estimation with Quantile Regressions. Internal Conference, International Business School, Sun Yat-sen University, China. Internal Conference of International Business School, Sun Yat-sen University, China .
03/2014 Marriage Issues from the Perspectives of Game Theory. 
05/2013 Marketing Strategies of Huawei
11/2012   Corporate Finance: Listed Household Appliance Companies in China: Hisense, Sanyo, Midea, Joyang, Haier and Gree
08/2010  Investigating the Living Conditions of the New Generation of Peasant Laborers: from the Suicides of Foxconn Employees

Project Participation                                                        

06/2015-08/2015 Research Assistant, Reform& Development Research Institute of Pearl River Delta, Sun Yat-sen University, China

Project: Comparative Advantages of Innovation in Pearl River Delta (PRD): from Institutional Embeddedness Perspectives. 

  • Engaged in a project investigating operation from institutional embeddedness perspectives
  • Conducted interviews and distributed questionnaires in high and new technology enterprises in Shenzhen
  • Designed surveys, visited the companies and conducted participant observation
  • Concluded in a report, using compassion with data of other high and new technology areas in China

03/2015-06/2015 Research Assistant & Program Conductor, Lingnan College, Sun Yat-sen University. 

Project: Mechanism of Ecological Intervention and Civic Engagement for Water Pollution.

  • Assisted in managing the program, delivered training classes for surveyors and made coursework evaluation
  • Processed data and delivered the report using case study and other analytical techniques

06/2014-09/2014  Mitacs Globalink Research Intern, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada

ProjectChinese Enterprise's Energy Efficiency. 

  • Reviewed literature, made research hypothesis and designed research structure

Project: Database Management on Environmental Regulation & Trade Structure

  • Categorized literature data and established database of 58 proxies for environmental regulation stringency 2 weeks before the scheduled deadline

09/2013-12/2013 Market Integration of Yangtze Delta & Pan-Pearl River Delta, China

  • Collected prices of retail goods in Yangtze River Delta
  • Estimated border effect of Shanghai & Nanjing, China using quantile regression and conducted a quantitative research

09/2013-09/2012 Teaching Assistant, Project Appraisal & Business Negotiation, SYSU, China 

Honors & Scholarships                                                        

10/2016 MScR Sociology with Distinction, University of Edinburgh

05/2015   Distinguished Dissertation Award, Sun Yat-sen University

09/2014   Dssc (Hon)’s Award for Studying Abroad, Dssc (Hon)’s Fund

02/2014  Mitacs Globalink Award, Mitacs Globalink, Canda & Chinese Scholarship Council(CSC)

01/2014 Cultural Experience Award, Hong Kong Baptist University

11/2013  The National Scholarship in the Academic Year of 2012-2013, Ministry of    Education of People’s Republic of China 

10/2013  The First Scholarship in the Academic Year of 2012-2013, Sun Yat-sen University

10/2014  The First Scholarship in the Academic Year of 2011-2012, Sun Yat-sen University

Statistical Software                                                    

Stata12.0, R , Mplus

Language Test                                                            

IELTS: 7.5 (Date: 07/07/2015)

Extra-curricular Experience                                                 

  • 06/2013-09/2014 Chairperson, Healthy Life Association, Sun Yat-sen University
  • 02/2014-06/2014 Program Conductor, “Culture Experience Program: : Self-expression and Self-consciousness” at Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Yoga(certified instructor of yoga education), Chinese Folk Dance