A matter of life and death: The power of personal networks for medical crowdfunding performance

Shen Yang, Xiwang Ke, Cheng Cheng, Yanjie Bian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Medical crowdfunding is an accessible alternative for individuals to meet their unaffordable health needs. This study explores the role of personal networks in medical crowdfunding performance from the perspective of tie strength and whether gender inequality persists in the returns of personal networks in this survival context, using bilateral data of both the ego and the alters collected from a large representative medical crowdfunding platform in China. It is found that kin ties play a fundamental and predominant role while pseudo-kin ties, being less strong than kin ties in terms of mutual sentiment and reciprocal obligations to help each other, play an accumulative role and are more influential in increasing crowdfunding performance, and neighbour and other role relations have the weakest effect and contribution. Importantly, women are not discriminated against when mobilizing personal networks for medical crowdfunding as they enjoy the same returns of most personal ties as men do.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115968
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
StatePublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank The “Zhishan” Scholars Programs of Southeast University for its financial support for database establishment. We also thank anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.

Funding Information:
Funding: Scientific Research Program Funded by Education Department of Shaanxi Provincial Government (Program No. 22JK0175, 2022HZ1259).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • Gender inequality
  • Medical crowdfunding performance
  • Personal networks
  • Social network returns
  • Social support
  • Tie strength

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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