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Impact of Family Planning Policy on Gender Inequality: Evidence from China

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  • Yining Geng

Abstract

The investments parents make in their children can be gender specific. I study the impact of family planning policies on gender-specific outcomes. Empirically, this paper uses China’s Family Planning Policy (FPP), enacted in 1971, to understand how a reduction in the number of children in a family can generate gender-specific outcomes. I mainly use the diff-in-diff strategy to compare the educational outcomes of boys and of girls born before and after the FPP was implemented. I find that while post-FPP-born children generally complete higher levels of education, this effect is particularly stronger for girls. This finding is robust to (1) using the diff-in-diff-in-diff strategy by incorporating another dimension of variation: different fertility constraints imposed by the FPP on the ethnic majority Han than those imposed on ethnic minorities; and (2) using a different measure of educational outcomes: the probability of pursuing an education beyond the compulsory education period. In addition, I document that the FPP also has an impact on changing women’s preference for their child’s gender. Post-FPP-born women show a more pronounced change in gender attitudes and exhibit less son preference than their male counterparts.

Suggested Citation

  • Yining Geng, 2020. "Impact of Family Planning Policy on Gender Inequality: Evidence from China," Working Papers 202008, University of Liverpool, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:liv:livedp:202008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Family Planning Policy; Fertility; Education; Gender Inequality.;

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