Parental human capital investment in children in China: a policy evaluation.
This paper presents findings from a study of the impact of the one-child policy on parental human capital investments in children of Chinese households. Parental human capital investment is defined as the amount of monetary and time inputs which parents spend on their children. It is the first study to use the quantity-quality interaction model developed by Gary Becker to estimate and predict who will potentially not adhere to the policy, to examine whether any systematic difference exists between policy disobeyers and policy obeyers in their investments to child human capital, and to estimate the total impact of the one-child policy upon parental investment decision-making. The study also examines differences in human capital investments in relation to a child's gender, birth order, family structure and residence locality, given the number of children in the household. Findings are based upon 1990 survey data. The author found that regardless of the measures used for policy, the one-child policy has a significant impact upon parental human capital investment in China. The government of China may better understand and enforce the policy by raising living standards, improving the level of maternal education, and establishing pension systems and/or other systems to provide old-age security for parents with only or no child.