Assessing the impact of the “one-child policy” in China: A synthetic control approach

Autoři: Stuart Gietel-Basten aff001;  Xuehui Han aff002;  Yuan Cheng aff003
Působiště autorů: Division of Social Sciences, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, PRC aff001;  Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Beijing, PRC aff002;  Population Research Institute, LSE-Fudan Research Centre for Global Public Policy, Fudan University, Shanghai, PRC aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220170


There is great debate surrounding the demographic impact of China’s population control policies, especially the one-birth restrictions, which ended only recently. We apply an objective, data-driven method to construct the total fertility rates and population size of a ‘synthetic China’, which is assumed to be not subjected to the two major population control policies implemented in the 1970s. We find that while the earlier, less restrictive ‘later-longer-fewer’ policy introduced in 1973 played a critical role in driving down the fertility rate, the role of the ‘one-child policy’ introduced in 1979 and its descendants was much less significant. According to our model, had China continued with the less restrictive policies that were implemented in 1973 and followed a standard development trajectory, the path of fertility transition and total population growth would have been statistically very similar to the pattern observed over the past three decades.

Klíčová slova:

Comparators – Fertility rates – Human families – Children – China – Life expectancy – Rural areas – Sex ratio


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Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11