*Names in bold indicate Presenter
In this study, we focus on whether MLSA participation enables families to invest in children to promote better future life opportunities for these children growing up in poverty. We examine two broad categories of family expenditures: expenditures on household necessities that often are shared among family members (e.g., paying for food, clothing, rent and utilities) and expenditures specifically on children (e.g., paying for tuition, other school fees, books, tutors). In addition, we also examine families’ expenditures on health care, an item measured specific to each household member, which enables us to differentiate those for children and adults. Using the nationally representative CHIP data allows us to address this research question in the national context and track changes over time from 2002 to 2007 based on a relatively large sample size. This analysis will be supplemented by similar analysis using survey data from a smaller sample of low-income families in Shanghai collected in 2009 to see if the result patterns match. Findings from this study will help us gain insight into the effectiveness of the MLSA program on enabling poor families to invest in their children to increase their social mobility and enhance their future life opportunities.