With its strict population policy and unprecedented economic growth, urban China offers a unique environment in which to examine how radical changes in state policy can affect family consumption behavior. The objectives of this study are to examine children's influence in purchase decision making and to explore factors thought to explain variation observed in children's influence. A survey of 819 urban Chinese families was conducted to directly compare the influence generated among three generations of family members in nuclear and extended family households from both the parents' and the children's perspectives. The analysis found that, while the influence of children varied by product category and by the character of the purchase decision, the children's influence on family decision making was less dominant than would be suggested by the popular image of China's only children.
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