News Archive 2009-2018

Bowdoin’s Riley Comments on China’s One-Child Policy Archives

Riley’s latest book on demographics in China was published January, 2017

Between 1980 and 2016 China implemented a one-child policy, a measure the country’s officials claim “averted some 400 million births, which they say aided global environmental efforts,” writes Mara Hvistendahl in Science.

Many demographic experts have disputed that claim, arguing the number is flawed. However, a recent study by US Census Bureau researcher Daniel Goodkind, published in the journal Demography, has argued that the figure may have some merit, saying that it averted hundreds of millions of births. This has sparked an angry reaction from many scholars and led to calls for the paper to be withdrawn.

Professor of Sociology Nancy E. Riley, who earlier this year published a book on China’s population policies, was among those quoted. “For the top journal to publish that paper was quite something,” she told Hvistendahl. “Goodkind’s central estimate, she adds, relies on ‘building a house of cards’ through a series of assumptions about data inputs.”


One thought on “Bowdoin’s Riley Comments on China’s One-Child Policy

  1. Jane Titcomb ‘74

    How many of the 100,000 abandoned and adopted Chinese girls, now U.S. citizens, found their way to Bowdoin College?

Comments are closed.