Fertility trends in rural Hebei Province, People's Republic of China

Fertility trends in rural Hebei Province, People's Republic of China Background: The People's Republic of China (PRC) has conducted several different population policies since its establishment. Although fertility has declined dramatically in the past three decades, the degree to which this was the result of the different population policies is still under debate. Purpose: We attempt to evaluate the effect of the different formal population policies conducted in the PRC by looking at the fertility behavior of rural women. Unlike urban women, rural women experienced less social control (in the absence of a work unit) and received fewer benefits from adhering to the one-child policy. Data: The data analyzed were collected from a stratified sample of households from 288 villages in 9 counties of Hebei Province, PRC, between 1996 and 1999. The number of children ever born was reported by 4,168 ever-married women aged 25 and over who had had at least one birth. Findings: Our analysis indicates that the formal population policies of the PRC had little effect on the number of children ever born to rural women in Hebei. These retrospective data, by cohort, indicate consistently declining fertility since the revolution (1949). Limited child bearing was associated with age and the level of education. Controlling for the effect of age and education, women born after 1960, at whom the one-child policy was directed, actually had more children than older women. Conclusions: The Chinese fertility decline, at least as reflected in the experience of rural women in Hebei Province, derived mainly from secular changes in women's access to education and other social resources rather than from the direct effects of population policies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Population Research and Policy Review Springer Journals

Fertility trends in rural Hebei Province, People's Republic of China

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Geography; Demography; Economic Policy; Population Economics
ISSN
0167-5923
eISSN
1573-7829
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1027391230319
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Background: The People's Republic of China (PRC) has conducted several different population policies since its establishment. Although fertility has declined dramatically in the past three decades, the degree to which this was the result of the different population policies is still under debate. Purpose: We attempt to evaluate the effect of the different formal population policies conducted in the PRC by looking at the fertility behavior of rural women. Unlike urban women, rural women experienced less social control (in the absence of a work unit) and received fewer benefits from adhering to the one-child policy. Data: The data analyzed were collected from a stratified sample of households from 288 villages in 9 counties of Hebei Province, PRC, between 1996 and 1999. The number of children ever born was reported by 4,168 ever-married women aged 25 and over who had had at least one birth. Findings: Our analysis indicates that the formal population policies of the PRC had little effect on the number of children ever born to rural women in Hebei. These retrospective data, by cohort, indicate consistently declining fertility since the revolution (1949). Limited child bearing was associated with age and the level of education. Controlling for the effect of age and education, women born after 1960, at whom the one-child policy was directed, actually had more children than older women. Conclusions: The Chinese fertility decline, at least as reflected in the experience of rural women in Hebei Province, derived mainly from secular changes in women's access to education and other social resources rather than from the direct effects of population policies.

Journal

Population Research and Policy ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 17, 2004

References

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