The Current Fertility Trend in China: An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Family Planning Policy, its Relative Importance over Time and the Potentiality for its Relaxation

Yujing Song, University of Texas at Austin

Using data from China Health and Nutrition Survey, this paper aims at assessing the effectiveness of the family-planning policy in China against the backdrop of economic advancement. Built on Attane’s classification scheme on its permissiveness, I evaluated the policy impact on both a behavioral and an ideational level. Cross-sectional analyses for 1993 and 2004 show that independent of socioeconomic and demographic factors, the level of permissiveness represented by the local family-planning policies has a significant effect on people’s reproductive behaviors and preferences. Pooled data over time further illustrate that the importance of the policy effect barely changed during this period of time. At the same time, the notable fertility decline over these 11 years, the consistent influence of the socioeconomic factors, and the more homogeneous reproductive preferences across age groups seem to provide some support for the great potentiality of socioeconomic forces in maintaining low fertility.

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Presented in Poster Session 5