Carrots and sticks: fertility effects of China's population policies.

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For 20 years following 1949, average total fertility per woman in China hovered just above six children. The year 1970 marked the beginning of persistent fertility declines. By 1980, the rate had dropped to 2.75, and since 1992 it has remained under 2. While some of this transition can be accounted for by broad socioeconomic developments, the extent to which it is attributable to China's unique population policies remains controversial. This paper analyzes household data from the 1992 Household Economy and Fertility Survey (HEFS) to provide the first direct microeconomic empirical evidence on the efficacy of these policies.







Marjorie B. McElroy

Professor of Economics

Professor McElroy focuses her research on the subjects of labor, demand systems, and financial economics. She has completed several of her research projects under the funding provided by National Science Foundation grants, including her latest work on the economics of the family in relation to bargain decision-making and marriage markets. She is also currently investigating altruism in marriage markets and bargaining on the core in marriage markets. She has also completed studies involving the investigation of international populations, such as her work with D. Yang on, “Carrots and Sticks: Fertility Effects on China’s Population Policies.” She has collaborated with her contemporaries on several projects, including her earlier work with Hwei-ju Chen, R. Gnanadesikan, and J.R. Kettenring entitled, “A Statistical Study of Groupings of Corporations,” and her project with T.J. Kniesner and Stephen Wilcox on, “Family Structure, Race, and the Feminization of Poverty.” One of her recent published studies, which she completed independently, is entitled, “What’s New with Nash-Bargained Household Demands?”

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