UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Yang Yao, Peking University

Adolescent Political Exposure and Gender Preferences in Adulthood: A Study of Chinese Counties during 1950-1990

Date and Location

Monday, April 9, 2018, 4:10 PM - 5:30 PM
2203 Social Sciences and Humanities


Adolescence is a critical stage for people to form their worldviews. This paper studies how exposure to female political participation in adolescent years affected people, particularly women’s fertility and nurturing decisions in their adulthood, using data from Chinese counties for the period 1950-1990. A causal relationship is established between more active female political participation (FP), measured by female membership in the Chinese Communist Party in a woman’s adolescence, and a more balanced gender mix of her children, as well as a weaker tendency of her family’s gender selection under the One-child Policy. Further analysis suggests that this had happened by changing adolescents’ gender preferences, particularly through high school education. In addition, the positive role of adolescent FP is found not to be channeled through by contemporary FP.

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