Danli Wang: One Child Policy
time: 2015/11/21 views 644

One Child Policy and How Human-Beings Choose Their Mates

The ramifications of the One-Child Policy and its mechanism of reshaping marriage market have been a black box for the economists. This seminar, held in Room 710, Fanhai Building, on 17th, Dec. 2015, had the honor to invite Dr. Danli Wang and Professor Huiwen Li of Shanghai University of International Business and Economics to present their work on the relationship between one-child policy and its effect on mate choice-making. Professor Zhao Chen of CCES hosted the seminar with the attendance of Professor Ming Lu and some of the PhD students.


As their research motivation, Dr. Wang introduced that previous literatures simply assumed that the Q-Q trade-off regarded marriage as exogenous. “However, we argue that the Q-Q starts even before marriage which is actually endogenous.” Dr Wang said. In 2013, the well-known the One-Child Policy was proposed to be adjusted in the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee that Chinese couples with one spouse being an only child would be permitted to have two children, as known as the Two-Children Policy, if they intend. The proposal became legislation next year in the 6th meeting of the 12th National People's Congress. Taking the adjustment as a policy shock, Dr. Wang planned to investigate the likely alternation of mate-matching before and after 2014.

From a view of empirical strategy, Dr. Wang managed to collect a database with 484 men and 512 women as sample. “We divide them into three intervals from 2011 to the end of 2013, from 2013 to the February of 2014, and from the March of 2014 to the present so we obtain a panel database.” Dr. Wang said. Dr. Wang set up the empirical models with outlooks and youthful as the dependent variables. The independent variables consisted of income, age, height, behavior, education and time.

The results showed that males’ requirements to females’ looks and youthfulness dropped from 0.6 and 0.375 to 0.27 and 0.2 respectively after the implementation of the Two-Children Policy. Similarly, females’ requirements to their ideal male spouse’ income dropped from 0.59 to 0.34 after the legislation of the adjustment policy. Hence, Dr. Wang concluded that 1) rich men would have significantly higher requirements on their requirements to their ideal mates’ outlooks; 2) the age of male had a significantly positive effect on their requirements to ideal wife’s youthfulness, which implied that the older the man was, the younger spouse he applied for. “Based on the empirical findings, we assert that the Q-Q trade-off begins prior to the formation of marriage and marriage is endogenous.”

In the discussion session, Professor Ming Lu repeatedly emphasized the critical role that the size of database played in resulting in an unarguable conclusion. “We strongly suggest that Dr. Wang collect more quality data rather than throw the rough judgement to the audience to soon.” Professor Lu said.




By SHI Shuo

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