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Location or Hukou: What Most Limits Fertility of Urban Women in China?

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China’s fertility rate is below replacement level. The government is attempting to increase this rate by relaxing the one-child policy. China faces a possible trade-off since further urbanization is needed to raise incomes but may reduce future fertility. We decompose China’s rural-urban fertility gaps using both de facto and de jure criteria for defining the urban population. The fertility-depressing effects of holding urban hukou are more than three times larger than are effects of urban residence. Since hukou registration is not a fundamental socio-economic constraint, it could be reformed by China’s policy makers in order to weaken the possible trade-off between goals of encouraging urbanization and encouraging higher fertility.

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  • Yun Liang & John Gibson, 2017. "Location or Hukou: What Most Limits Fertility of Urban Women in China?," Working Papers in Economics 17/06, University of Waikato.
  • Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:17/06
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    Keywords

    fertility; Hukou; urbanization; China;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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