Missing Women, Gender Imbalance and Sex Ratio at Birth: Why the One-Child Policy Matters
51 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2019
Date Written: August 2, 2019
In this paper, we show that the one-child policy has played a significant role in the decline of China’s fertility. The one-child policy had reduced China’s fertility rate by an additional 11.5%, based on a year-on-year comparison with the case if China had not implemented the policy. The methodology we introduced in estimating the number of “missing women” improves on the method employed in Anderson and Ray (2010). Our findings suggest that the one-child policy resulted in a total of approximately 11 million missing women in China, and contributed to more than 50% of its outstanding gender imbalance. The adoption of the one-child policy has prevented around 50 million births, and is confirmed to be the major cause of China’s highly skewed sex ratio at birth.
Keywords: Fertility rate, Missing women, Gender imbalance, the One-child policy
JEL Classification: J13, J18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation