State policy and contraceptive choices: evidence from China 1979–2012

Cuntong Wang, Tim Futing Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the relationship between China’s contraception policy and married women’s (20–49 years) choice between long-acting and short-acting contraceptive methods during two periods–1980–1994 and 1995–2012. The aim is to examine the link between strictness of the contraception policy and married women’s contraceptive choice. Using data from the 1988 and the 2006 National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Surveys, we estimated the effect of contraception policy in the tightened and the loosened policy periods using a permutation test. The results show that while contraception policy promoted long-acting contraceptive methods, many married women themselves preferred short-acting contraceptive methods. During the tightened policy period, we found married women on average were 2.7 times more likely to use long-acting methods. The effect was only 1.7 times during the loosened policy period. The effect was also parity dependent. The more stringent the contraception policy was, the more likely married women used a long-acting contraceptive method. This study provides the first ever proper estimation of China’s contraception policy effects during the two periods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-65
Number of pages19
JournalAsian Population Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019


  • China
  • Contraception policy
  • contraceptive choice
  • population policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography


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