CHILD POVERTY, INVESTMENT IN CHILDREN AND GENERATIONAL MOBILITY: THE SHORT AND LONG TERM WELLBEING OF CHILDREN IN URBAN CHINA AFTER THE ONE CHILD POLICY
Gordon Anderson and
Teng Wah Leo ()
Review of Income and Wealth, 2009, vol. 55, issue s1, 607-629
China's One Child Policy (OCP), introduced in 1979, changed fundamentally the nature of both existing and anticipated marriage arrangements and influenced family formation decisions in many dimensions, especially with respect to the number of and investment in children. The policy coincided with the Economic Reforms of 1979 and the trend toward greater urbanization, all of which may have influenced the wellbeing of children. This paper examines the mobility status consequence of children in urban China since the introduction of the OCP and the economic reforms using data drawn from urban household surveys in China. The analysis first makes the comparison between child poverty in Canada, the United Kingdom and urban India, where it was found that both status and trends of child poverty are very different among the countries, with children not being over‐represented in the poverty group in urban China. The extent to which the policies influenced investment in children is next examined by studying the way in which the relationship between the educational attainment of children and family characteristics changed within families formed prior to and after 1979. We found that the impact of household income and parental educational attainment increased significantly over time, with a positive gender effect where girls advanced more than boys. Applying new techniques for measuring mobility, we observe the reduction in intergenerational mobility. This phenomenon is found to be particularly prevalent in the lower income quantiles, reinforcing a dynastic notion of poverty.
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