Power Persistence Through an Intergenerational Perspective: The Impact of Parental Political Capital on Children’s Housing Status

Ling Zhu
Housing Studies

Housing inequality in (post-)socialist societies has attracted much academic attention. Prior studies have shown that reform policies mostly favored previous redistributive elites, suggesting that political elites’ housing advantage in the pre-reform system would persist in the post-reform regime. However, recent studies have also documented that political elites’ housing advantage declined with deepening marketization. While most studies have examined the power persistence theory using intra-generational analyses, we propose to evaluate it through an inter-generational perspective. Empirically, we examine the impacts of parents’ political and human capital on children’s housing assets in post-reform urban China. We find both types of capital make significant contributions. However, while the effect of parents’ human capital can be fully mediated by children’s own socio-economic status, their political capital exerts a more direct influence. Political elites’ housing advantage is not limited to their own generation, but has an enduring impact on their offsprings’ housing status and reproduces in (post-)socialist regimes.