Cash Holdings and Health Shocks

Lin Tian, Alessandra Guariglia, Nicholas Horsewood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We are the first to investigate how health shocks relate to cash holdings. Using three waves of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study over the period 2013–2018, we document that, for middle‐aged and elderly people living in rural China, the onset of an acute health condition is associated with a 3.0 percentage point higher probability of holding only cash as a safe asset, and a 2.3 percentage point higher proportion of safe assets held in the form of cash. These results are robust to using different samples and estimation methods. We also find that ex‐post reimbursement of medical expenses and lack of bank accessibility may drive the association between health shocks and cash holdings.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of income and wealth
Early online date7 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 The Authors. Review of Income and Wealth published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Association for Research in Income and Wealth. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • banks
  • cash holdings
  • china
  • health insurance
  • health shocks


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