Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 203–215 | Cite as

Who signs China's one-child certificate, and why?

  • Junsen Zhang
  • Byron G. Spencer


China's policy of one child per family was put in place in 1979 to control population growth in the world's most populous nation. Who complies with the policy, and why? What guidance does economic theory provide? Using microdata available from the 1985 Chinese In-Depth Fertility Survey, a multinomial logit model of family choice with respect to policy compliance is estimated. The results indicate that even after area of residence is taken into account, woman's education, husband's occupation, marriage duration, presence of a son, family structure, and house size significantly influence compliance, while age, child mortality experience, husband's education and woman's occupation apparently do not. The effects of income and wealth remain open questions. Possible explanations are provided.


Population Growth Populous Nation Economic Theory Family Structure Child Mortality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Amemiya T (1981) Qualitative response models: A survey. J Econ Liter 19 (4):1483–1536Google Scholar
  2. Amemiya T (1985) Advanced econometrics. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  3. Arnold F, Liu Z (1986) Sex preference, fertility, and family planning in China. Popul Dev Rev 12 (2):221–246Google Scholar
  4. Buse RC, Salathe LE (1978) Adult equivalent scales: An alternative approach. Am J Agric Econ 60 (3):460–468Google Scholar
  5. Coale AJ (1984) Rapid Population Change in China 1952–1982. Committee on Population and Demography, Report No. 104. National Academy Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  6. Croll E (1983) Chinese women since Mao. ME Sharpe, Armonk, NYGoogle Scholar
  7. Croll E, Davin D, Kane P (1985) China's one child family policy. St. Martin's Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Falbo T (1989) China's one-child policy: Conflict and harmony. Paper presented at 19th Annual Meetings of the Population Association of America, Baltimore, MarylandGoogle Scholar
  9. Gabriel SA, Rosenthal SS (1989) Household location and race: Estimates of a multinomial logit model. Rev Econ Statist 71 (2):240–249Google Scholar
  10. Goldstein S (1990) Urbanization in China, 1982–1987: Effects of migration and reclassification. Popul Dev Rev 16 (4):673–701Google Scholar
  11. Greene WH (1988) LIMDEP. Department of Economics, New York UniversityGoogle Scholar
  12. Greenhalgh S (1989) The evolution of the one-child policy in Shaanxi, 1979–1988. Paper presented at the 1989 Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  13. Hardee-Cleaveland K, Banister J (1988) Fertility policy and implementation in China. Popul Dev Rev 14 (2):245–286Google Scholar
  14. Hausman J, McFadden D (1984) Specification tests for the multinomial logit model. Econometrica 52 (5):1219–1240Google Scholar
  15. Horowitz J (1983) Statistical comparison of non-nested probabilistic choice models. Transport Sci 17 (3):319–350Google Scholar
  16. Larsen U (1990) An assessment of the one-child policy in China from 1980 to 1985. Eur J Popul 6 (3):257–284Google Scholar
  17. Maddala GS (1983) Limited-dependent and qualitative variables in economics. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  18. Manski C, McFadden D (1981) Structural analysis of discrete data. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  19. McFadden D (1974) Conditional logit analysis of qualitative choice behavior. In: Zarembka P (ed) Frontiers in econometrics. Academic Press, New York, pp 105–142Google Scholar
  20. Population and Development Review (1988) Sichuan provincial birth planning rules 14 (2):369–375 (Documents)Google Scholar
  21. Pudney S (1989) Modelling individual choice: The econometrics of Corners, Kinks and Holes. Basil Blackwell, Oxford New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Schmidt P, Strauss RP (1975) The predictions of occupations using multiple logit models. Int Econ Rev 16 (2):471–486Google Scholar
  23. Small KA, Hsiao C (1985) Multinomial logit specification tests. Int Econ Rev 26 (3):619–627Google Scholar
  24. State Statistical Bureau of China, Department of Population Statistics (1986) China in-depth fertility survey (Phase-I). Principal Report, Vol IGoogle Scholar
  25. Survey of the World Broadcasts (1979) Sichuan regulations in family planning. 16 march (FE 6068/1311/9)Google Scholar
  26. Wang F (1988) The roles of individuals socioeconomic characteristics and the Government Family Planning Program in China's fertility decline. Popul Res Policy Rev 7 (3):255–276Google Scholar
  27. Wang F (1989) China's one-child policy. Who complies and why? Paper presented at the Association for Asian Studies Meeting, March 17–19, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  28. Zhang J (1990a) Two essays on the economics of marriage and fertility. Ph. D. Thesis, McMaster University, HamiltonGoogle Scholar
  29. Zhang J (1990b) Socioeconomic determinants of fertility in China: A microeconomic analysis. J Popul Econ 3 (3):105–123Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junsen Zhang
    • 1
  • Byron G. Spencer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

Personalised recommendations