Two-Child Policy Increased Birth Rate in 2016

SCMP: China experiencing baby boom now that one-child rule is lifted
Now China is undergoing a minor baby boom, with almost one million more newborns expected this year, National Health and Family Planning Commission deputy director Wang Peian said, according to official media reports.
More than 17.5 million births were expected in 2016, he told a conference in November – which would reverse a decline last year and be the highest figure since 2000.

But while the end of the one-child policy swayed Zheng and her husband, it is unclear how much it contributed to this year’s baby boom.

Previous statistics show the increase was concentrated in the first half of the year, before the new policy could have an effect. And 2016 was the lunar year of the monkey – considered a particularly auspicious zodiac sign to be born under.
Chinese do time their births based on the Lunar calendar. I covered this a few years ago in Dragon baby boom. The abstract from a paper looking into the question:
This paper analyzes the widely held belief among Asians that children born in the Year of the Dragon are superior. It uses pooled cross section data from the U.S. Current Population Survey to show that Asian immigrants to the United States born in the 1976 year of the Dragon are more educated than comparable immigrants from non-Dragon years. In contrast, no such educational effect is noticeable for Dragon-year children in the general U.S. population. This paper also provides evidence that Asian mothers of Dragon year babies are more educated, richer, and slightly older than Asian mothers of non-Dragon year children. This suggests that belief in the greater superiority of Dragon-year children is self-fulfilling since the demographic characteristics associated with parents who are more able to adjust their birthing strategies to have Dragon children are also correlated with greater investment in their human capital.
However, the data shows the effect isn't that large. More likely, the spike in births is due to pent up demand, in which case it will fade sometime in 2017.

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