The inquiry that has culminated in this thesis was inspired by the challenges that many young Chinese people were facing when trying to gain access to affordable housing at the time of study, the early 2010s. By then, more than thirty years of housing reforms had completely changed how housing was being provided in China. The resulting structure had led young people to access housing in ways that were very different from those of their parents' generation (Deng, Hoekstra & Elsinga, 2017). These observations prompted the following research question: What are the key factors defining young people's opportunity to access housing, and how do these factors relate to China's institutional changes during and after the market reform? The ensuing research has demonstrated that parental resources and intergenerational reciprocity are indispensable to the housing opportunity of young people, as home ownership has come to mediate the exchange of resources between generations.
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