Skip to main content

Mortality and fertility: How large is the direct child replacement effect in China?

Abstract

Olsen (1980) proposed a method for quantifying the fertility response to child mortality. He showed how to correct for bias in the OLS estimator. He also proposed the use of mortality rates as an instrumental variable. This method is applied here to a new Chinese microdata set. It appears that the method works well. The bias-corrected direct replacement effect based on the Chinese data is about 0.6, which is three times as large as the effects found by Olsen (1980, 1988) using data for Colombia and Malaysia. Several explanations are provided for this result.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Olsen RJ (1980) Estimating the effect of child mortality on the number of births. Demography 17:429–443

    Google Scholar 

  • Olsen RJ (1988) Cross-sectional methods for estimating the replacement of infant deaths. Res Popul Econ 6:137–159

    Google Scholar 

  • Olsen RJ, Wolpin KI (1983) The impact of exogenous child mortality on fertility: A waiting time regression with dynamic regressors. Econometrica 51:731–749

    Google Scholar 

  • Population and Development Review (1988) Sichuan provincial birth planning rules, vol14:369–375. Documents

    Google Scholar 

  • Preston SH (1975) Health program and population growth. Popul Dev Rev 1:189–199

    Google Scholar 

  • Schultz TP (1976) Interrelationships between mortality and fertility. In: Ridker RG (ed) Population and development. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp 239–289

    Google Scholar 

  • Schultz TP (1978) Fertility and child mortality over the life cycle. Am Econ Rev 68:208–215

    Google Scholar 

  • State Statistical Bureau and China, Department of Population Statistics (1986) China in-depth fertility survey (phase I), Principal report Vol I and II, Beijing, China

  • Trussell J, Olsen RJ (1983) Evaluation of the Olsen technique for estimating the fertility response to child mortality. Demography 20:391–405

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang F (1988) The roles of individuals' socioeconomic characteristics and the government family planning program in China's fertility decline. Popul Res Policy Rev 7:255–276

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang J (1990) Two essays on the economics of marriage and fertility. Ph. D thesis, McMaster University

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

I am grateful to Frank Denton, Martin Dooley, Ronald Lee, Lonnie Magee, Byron Spencer and three anonymous referees for many helpful comments and suggestions. I would also like to thank the International Statistical Institute Research Center for supplying the data used in this study.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Zhang, J. Mortality and fertility: How large is the direct child replacement effect in China?. J Popul Econ 3, 303–314 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00179339

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00179339

Keywords

  • Mortality Rate
  • Instrumental Variable
  • Child Mortality
  • Replacement Effect
  • Direct Replacement