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

Yining Geng (University Pompeu Fabra)

Abstract: China’s One Child Policy ('OCP') imposed an exogenous fertility constraint and changed the family size. What are the consequences of this policy on education investment and gender inequality? I use difference-in-difference- in-difference(DDD) strategy to compare the education outcomes between boys and girls with different types of household registration status (Hukou) during the pre- and post-OCP periods. The results show that children born during the post-OCP period, on average, stay in school longer and are more likely to continue their education beyond the compulsory education. Moreover, this effect was stronger for girls, whose resources were usually taken by their brothers during the pre-OCP period. My results imply that with smaller families, gender gap in education narrowed. Furthermore, I also show that the singletons generations, as a product of the OCP, now by themselves, prefer fewer children, compared to the contemporary non-singletons. Possible reasons include singletons' less gender preference and tighter income constraint. Overall, this study reveals the social benefits of family planning policy in terms of improving female education achievement and reducing gender inequality.

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