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Reexamining China's Fertility Puzzle: Data Collection and Quality over the Last Two Decades

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  • Guangyu Zhang
  • Zhongwei Zhao
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    Abstract

    China's fertility level has become a matter of considerable debate since the early 1990s. Despite the widespread concern over data quality, a review of the literature reveals little systematic examination of how fertility data are collected, what specific problems they pose, and how they have been used in demographic research. This article examines five major fertility data sources and identifies problems in producing and using fertility data and discusses their implications. Issues relating to China's controversial 2000 census results and the reported low fertility are examined. The analysis concludes that the prevalent uncertainty about fertility levels may not only be related to the problem of data quality, but could also arise from misinterpreting fertility data and exaggerating the problem of undercounting. Copyright 2006 The Population Council, Inc..

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 293-321

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:32:y:2006:i:2:p:293-321

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    Cited by:
    1. Daniel Goodkind, 2011. "Child Underreporting, Fertility, and Sex Ratio Imbalance in China," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 291-316, February.
    2. Wolfgang Lutz & Sergei Scherbov & Gui Ying Cao & Qiang Ren & Xiaoying Zheng, 2007. "China's uncertain demographic present and future," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 5(1), pages 37-59.
    3. Song, Shige, 2013. "Identifying the intergenerational effects of the 1959–1961 Chinese Great Leap Forward Famine on infant mortality," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 474-487.
    4. Rod Tyers & Jane Golley, 2006. "China's Growth to 2030: Demographic Change and the Labour Supply Constraint," PGDA Working Papers 1106, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
    5. Jane Golley & Rod Tyers, 2006. "Demographic Change and the Labour Supply Constraint," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2006-467, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.

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