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Household composition and female fertility in revolutionary China

Tih-Fen Ting, University of Illinois at Springfield

I will discuss how different household composition, as determined by the availability of potential childcare helpers such as grandparents (both paternal and maternal) and daughters, influenced female fertility during the first 35 years of history of the People's Republic of China. China provides an interesting case study of relationships between kinship network and reproduction, because various social, economic, and political policies during the second half of the twentieth century are of the sorts that alter reproductive costs and benefits for individual Chinese women. In the face of these policies, which are unprecedented in the history of China, I would like address the following questions: 1) What are the associations between kinship network and female reproduction under the regime of the communist state? 2) Does the presence of parents in the household affect the pace of family formation (i.e., the timing of the first birth) for conjugal couples?

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Presented in Session 123: Evolutionary ecology, kinship and reproduction