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What’s revolution got to do with it? Resource transfers and family formation in Mao’s China

Tih-Fen Ting, University of Illinois at Springfield
Bobbi S. Low, University of Michigan

During the first three decades of the People’s Republic, Chinese experienced dramatic social, cultural, and political transformation as various state policies specifically aimed to equalize people’s access to material resources and educational opportunities by eliminating social stratification. The socioeconomic order that had existed before 1949 was supposed to be overturned through land reform collectivization, the Cultural Revolution, and many other efforts. However, recent studies have shown that despite government policies toward interrupting the intergenerational inheritance of cultural capital, parents’ education and occupation still affects the educational and occupational attainment of their offspring to a significant extent. This paper examines whether such intergenerational transmissions, including the transmission in education among grandparents, parents, and children, still had any effect on the pace of family formation and reproductive trajectories among rural and urban Chinese during Mao’s era.

Presented in Session 225: Intergenerational transfers of resources and reproductive trajectories (2)