Regional Influences on Chinese Women's Fertility Desires: Development and Patriarchal Culture

Qing Lai, University of Michigan
Zheng Mu, University of Michigan
Qiang Ren, Peking University

This study describes and accounts for Chinese women’s fertility desires with regard to sex preference and the ideal number of children using the 2001 Chinese Fertility Survey. Beyond the individual-level mechanisms, we highlight the importance of two factors at the provincial level—level of development and local patriarchal culture. We find that higher local HDI scores lead to weaker preferences for sons and lower ideal numbers of children in the multilevel models. On the other hand, higher provincial sex ratio at birth, as a proxy for stronger local patriarchal culture, predicts stronger preferences for more children and for sons.

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Presented in Session 176: Gender and Development