Cultural influence, economic security, and the fertility behavior of the Chinese in Canada

Zongli Tang

Abstract


This study explores interactions of cultural influence and economic insecurity and their effects on the fertility behavior of the Chinese in Canada. The
importance of group context on the actions of individuals is measured through data from the PUST of the 1971 and 1991 Canadian Censuses. Contextual
analysis and random coefficient models are the major statistical tools employed to achieve the above objectives. The Chinese-Canadians are compared to the British-Canadians, who are used as the reference group. The findings suggest that Chinese reproductive norms with pronatalist endowments exert strong influence on the fertility behavior of the Chinese in Canada. This influence effectively counteracts the negative effects of economic insecurity and encourages Chinese immigrants to quickly recover their fertility deficit after the initial immigration stage. The effects of the origin culture on fertility diminish with increasing exposure to the host society. However, even among the nativeborn or Canadian-born Chinese, the influence of Chinese reproductive norms is still present though not as strong as among the foreign-born Chinese.

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Canadian Studies in Population | E-ISSN 1927-629X

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