Reproductive Behavior in Time and Space: The Lower Yangzi Macroregion, 1966-90

Type Conference Paper - The Spatial Economy/Society of Contemporary China Geoinformatics '99 conference China Data Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 20 June 1999
Title Reproductive Behavior in Time and Space: The Lower Yangzi Macroregion, 1966-90
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1999
This paper is concerned with reproductive strategizing, so let me clarify
what I mean by that phrase. I use the term reproduction broadly to refer to the
entire process whereby a couple builds up its offspring set from first pregnancy to
final configuration. The adults in a family can shape that process by many means,
including delaying the next birth or stopping, induced abortion, infanticide and
abandonment, adoption in or out – we’ll review these means in a moment – and I
aim to show that these decisions and behaviors are not random but on balance
strategic. That is, many Chinese parents have, by whatever means, been proactive
in shaping the size and configuration of their offspring sets to accord as closely as
possible with family system norms. We have two objectives in this paper. One is
to show that reproductive strategizing has steadily intensified since the early 1970s
in response to increasingly prescriptive birth-planning policies. The second
objective, which is emphasized here, is directly to the point of this panel, namely,
to demonstrate that reproductive behavior varies systematically and dramatically
in Hierarchical Regional Space as modeled in the previous panel.
We use data from a 1% household sample of individual returns from the
1990 Chinese census, that is, the ChinaS datafile previously described. We are
analyzing each of the Chinese macroregions separately, and we focus here on the
Lower Yangzi. This regional economy-cum-society, one of the most advanced in
China, had a population of 140 million as of 1990

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