The universal two-child policy since 2016 in China did not lead to a significant increase in fertility, and the new three-child policy in 2021 has also become a hard sell. Many public debates have discussed the potential influence of fertility relaxation on gender inequality, which has been seen as part of the reason for unsatisfactory outcomes in boosting fertility rate. In this talk, using data from China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), Professor Yuying Tong will discuss two empirical studies on couples's ideal number of children, child-policy shift and its outcome on gender inequality. The first study examines whether the policy relaxation influences marital satisfaction of men and women when they desire a second child, and the Difference-in-Difference model shows a gender difference of marital satisfaction. The second paper focuses on the second child realization and investigates whether husband or wife’s preference matters more on the realization of a second child. It found male-domination in second-child realization in rural China. The two studies shed light on domestic power relations in fertility decision and realization in an era after the policy relaxation and calls for policies to target the issues about how to raise fertility level without sacrificing women’s interest in China.
Professor Tong's bio: http://www.soc.cuhk.edu.hk/profile/tong-yuying/