Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies

Location or Hukou: what most limits fertility of urban women in China?

By Yun Liang and John Gibson

15th September, 2017 - Development, Social policy, Health | Asia, East Asia

China’s fertility rate is below replacement level. The government is attempting to increase this rate by relaxing the one-child policy. China faces a possible tradeoff because further urbanization is needed to raise incomes but may reduce future fertility. We decompose China’s rural-urban fertility gaps using both de facto and de jure criteria for defining the urban population. The fertility-depressing effects of holding urban hukou are more than three times larger than effects of urban residence. Less of the rural-urban fertility gap by hukou status is due to differences in characteristics than is the case for the fertility gap by place of residence.

Photo: Gauthler Delecroix on Flickr

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