The influence of women??s status on fertility behavior between Taiwan and China---a multilevel analysis
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Since 1949 Taiwan and China have been governed by different political regimes. Nevertheless, after more than fifty years, research shows that women in both societies now enjoy significantly higher social status and have lower fertility rates. Despite well-documented literature on the relationship between fertility and women??s status in Taiwan and China, no systematic empirical research has compared the two. This dissertation was designed to investigate the effects of women??s status on fertility and sterilization behaviors in China and Taiwan by means of multi-level analysis focusing on women??s education levels and employment status as predictors at both the individual and aggregate levels. To examine the influence of enforced policy, in China??s models, variables were added about whether the participants had a government-issued one-child certificate or had complied with the childbirth quota set by local authorities. Most results are consistent with our hypotheses. At the macro level, female college graduation rate is significant in Taiwan but not in China. One-child certificate rate is significantly correlated with provincial-level number of Child Ever Born (CEB). At the micro level of Poisson and logistic models, women with status are significantly more likely to have smaller numbers of CEB and lower sterilization usage. Survival analysis that simultaneously analyzed time duration and event occurrence showed dynamic effects of women??s status on the probability of a first, second and third childbirth. The Hierarchical Generalized Linear Models (HGLM) method shows both some direct and some interactive effects of contextual variables on fertility and contraceptive behaviors. In both countries, wives?? educational levels showed the greatest numbers of significant correlations with the dependent variables. Both Western socioeconomically based demographic transition theory and Asian planned demographic transition theory in China receive empirical support in the findings. Methodological and policy implications for future studies are discussed. The findings of this dissertation, particularly the micro-macro linkages, contribute to an explanation of how higher women??s status and lower fertility rates across the two regimes emerged from both common and disparate processes. This dissertation also illustrates how multi-level investigations of fertility and women??s status could be implemented in other parts of the world.
Li, Jin-Kai Godfrey (2005). The influence of women??s status on fertility behavior between Taiwan and China---a multilevel analysis. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from