Transition to Second Birth in Ultra-Low Fertility Pacific Asia: A Qualitative Comparative Study of Beijing and Taipei

Stuart A. Basten, University of Oxford
Xiaohong Ma, Renmin University of China
Hsieh Shih, Academia Sinica
Lih-Rong Wang, National Taiwan University
Wen-shan Yang, Academia Sinica
Yan Ping, Beijing Administrative College
Emily Freeman, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Numerous studies have identified sub-replacement fertility preferences in both urban China and elsewhere in East Asia. In urban China in particular, many couples who are eligible to have a second child by virtue of their being only children (this group being extended in 2013) do not do so, mainly citing economic pressure. Qualitative studies of fertility preferences in East Asia, and China in particular, are very rare. In this paper we present the results of a unique exercise where women with one child in both Beijing and Taiwan were asked the same question set about their decisions concerning moving to have a second child. Preliminary results indicate; the importance of economic pressure; the critical role of the reconcilation of work and family life, especially for women; the rather limited effect of policies to help childbearing (in Taiwan) and the role of traditional gender roles in shaping fertility outcomes

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 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors