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This paper examines the effect of son preference on the hazards of having a second and a third birth. With data from the Two-per-thousand National Sample Survey on Fertility and Contraception conducted in 1988 by the State Family Planning Commission of China, the hazard of having a second birth among 62+ thousand married women who have had a first birth, and the hazard of having a third birth among 43+ thousand married women who have had two births was examined. These two hazards (i.e. the hazard of moving from the first to the second birth, and the hazard of moving from the second to the third birth) were analysed by estimating Cox proportional hazard models. The major covariate in the first analysis is whether or not the first-born was a daughter. In the second analysis the main covariate is whether both of the first two children were girls. In both models seven covariates known to have independent effects on the transition to a second (or third) birth are controlled for, namely, whether the woman is a Han, whether she is a farmer, her age at the birth of the first (or second) child, whether she had her first (or second) birth prior to the initiation in 1979 of the one-child policy, and three dummy variables reflecting her level of education. The results show the important influence of son preference on the hazard of having another birth.


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Journal of Biosocial Science
  • ISSN: 0021-9320
  • EISSN: 1469-7599
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-biosocial-science
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