Patterns of low and lowest-low fertility in China: a comparative study on Hong Kong, Taiwan and Shanghai

Jow-Ching Tu, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Xia Zhang, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

This research is to study the patterns and causes of low and lowest-low fertility in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Shanghai. Tempo effects due to postponement of childbearing and recuperation effects at later ages are the focus. Based on the age- and parity-specific fertility rates, tempo effects over time are estimated by Bonggarts-Feeney’s (1998) and Kohler-Philipov’s (2001) methods. Recuperation effects are measured from period and cohort perspectives by the model developed in the present study. The findings reveal that the patterns of Hong Kong and Shanghai are different from those of Taiwan and European countries. The European studies show that lowest-low fertility may be a temporary phenomenon caused by delayed childbearing. However, the present analysis reveals that all parities experience quantum declines in 1990s; recuperation effects are not strong enough to compensate the decline at younger ages due to postponement of childbearing. Thus, fertility may decline further if no effective changes in the pronatalist institutions.

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Presented in Poster Session 3