Effects of Vietnam's Two-Child Policy on Fertility, Son Preference, and Female Labor Supply
Thursday, November 7, 2019
Plaza Building: Concourse Level, Plaza Exhibits (Sheraton Denver Downtown)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
In 1988, facing a total fertility rate of over four births per woman, the Vietnamese government introduced a new policy that required parents to have no more than 2 children. Using data from the Vietnam Population and Housing Censuses from 1989, 1999, and 2009, I apply a differences-in-differences framework to assess the effects of this policy on family size, son preference, and maternal labor supply. There are three main findings. First, the policy decreased the probability that a woman has more than two children by 15 percentage points (50%) for women aged less than 30 in 1989 and by 7 percentage points (11.5%) for women aged 30-39 in 1989. The policy reduced the average number of living children by 0.2 births per woman (10%). Low-educated women and women in rural areas were more affected by the policy. The policy had no effects on mothers’ age at first birth. Second, the reduction in family size caused by the policy was associated with a reduction of 1.2 percentage points (2.4%) in the proportion of sons in each family in the post-policy period. Third, the policy increased women’s labor force participation by 1.3 percentage points (1.5%).