New Evidence of Deliberate Fertility Control in Colonial Taiwan: Dajia 1906-1942
Sammanfattning: This paper deals with the disputable issue of the existence of Malthus’ Preventive Check in Chinese population. With the help of a newly established historical database (Demographic Database of Colonial Taiwan, DDCT), which currently including the individual level data regarding to the socio-demographic backgrounds of the registered population in fifteen townships in North and Western Taiwan, we thus are allowed to learn about the birth histories of colonial Taiwan. In combination with the fluctuations of monthly food prices of the North and Western Taiwan, we are capable of detecting the fertility response to the short term economic stress for Taiwan’s population, one branch of the Chinese population, in the past. In our research area (Dajia), we find an obvious fertility response for families with lower social statuses shortly after price change for our entire study period. It thus had provided us an implication that Chinese population had practiced deliberate birth control in pre-transitional period. We believe the constraints of population growth were, however, dictated not only by a set of factors, composed by poverty-induced spouse separation, malnutrition and prolonged breast feeding, but also by deliberate fertility control.
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