Birth control, family size and educational stratification: Evidence from the Han and ethnic minorities in China

Yao Pan*, Yishen Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

This paper investigates the unexpected impact that enforcing birth control policies in China has upon the educational stratification between the Han majority, the policy target group, and ethnic minorities, a partially excluded group. Exploring county-level variation in the value of fines levied for unsanctioned births, we find that a stricter enforcement of the birth control policy leads to a larger educational gap between ethnic minorities and the Han majority in both rural and urban areas. More specifically, we find that higher fines lead to a larger improvement in the educational attainment of the Han majority and that this is principally due to the greater effect of these fines upon the reduction of family size and the subsequent concentration of family resources (among this population). Our findings indicate that the birth control policy has substantially contributed to the rising Han-minority educational gap in China.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102078
Number of pages10
JournalECONOMICS OF EDUCATION REVIEW
Volume81
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Birth control
  • China
  • Education
  • Family size
  • Minority
  • Quantity-quality tradeoff

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