Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 1341–1364

Family size and maternal health: evidence from the One-Child policy in China

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00148-011-0361-0

Cite this article as:
Wu, X. & Li, L. J Popul Econ (2012) 25: 1341. doi:10.1007/s00148-011-0361-0

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the impact of family size on maternal health outcomes by exploiting the tremendous change in family size under the One-Child policy in China. Using data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey 1993–2006, we find that mothers with fewer children have a higher calorie intake and a lower probability of being underweight and having low blood pressure; meanwhile, they have a higher probability of being overweight. This would occur if a smaller family size increases the food consumption of mothers, leading underweight women to attain a normal weight and normal weight women becoming overweight. Robust tests are performed to provide evidence on the hypothesis that the tradeoff between children’s quantity and mother’s “quality” is through a budget constraint mechanism, that is, having more children decreases the resource allocated to mothers and affects their health outcomes.

Keywords

Maternal health Quantity–quality tradeoff One-Child policy 

JEL Classification

O15 J13 I10 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.China Academy of Public Finance and Public PolicyCentral University of Finance and EconomicsBeijingChina
  2. 2.China Center for Economic Research, National School of DevelopmentPeking UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations