International Sociology and International Sociology Reviews

Topic of the Month, April 2021

Two-child policy
‘Two-child policy’ is our Topic of the Month for April 2021. On this topic, enjoy Free Access all month to this article by Qingfeng Wang (Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham, China) and Xu Sun (Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, China) published in International Sociology, Fertility choices in China under the two-child policy. Read on to know more about the authors’ trajectory and work.

Qingfeng Wang

Xu Sun

Why are you working on this topic? Could you share an experience, a fact or a person who made you get engaged on that research?

Q. Wang & X. Sun: Both of us are currently working and living in China. We were both born in 1979 in China around the time when China launched its one-child policy. We both grew up with our siblings when many of our friends’ families were only allowed to have one child. We treasured our childhood in the company of our siblings and understood the loneliness our friends being the only child have experienced during their childhood. We both felt the constraints that the one-child policy has placed on fertility decisions. Though we welcomed the introduction of the second-child policy, we felt deeply concerned with the effectiveness of the two-child policy given the dramatic rise of the cost of living, intensified working environment as well as young people’s desire for more social life. Against this backdrop, we felt the urgency to study the factors which could determine the Chinese general public’s fertility choices under the two-child policy, hence to provide some meaningful recommendations to the policymakers based on our findings to improve the effectiveness of the two-child policy.

In our paper, we have found that individuals who are economically well-off, or who possess a specific or mixed-gender preference for their children tend to have a much higher intention to have two children. Our findings strongly support the fact that ‘cultural factors’ play an important role in determining Chinese people’s intention to have two children. For policymakers, our overall findings imply that the ‘two-child’ policy is likely ineffective in stimulating a higher fertility rate in the short term given that the economic wellbeing of a family exerts a far more significant impact on the intention to have two children than the cultural and behavioural dimensions.

What would you emphasize about your academic trajectory? Can you highlight which have been your academic positions, universities, awards, departments and research centers?

Dr Sun is an Associate Professor and course director for Product Design and Manufacture at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China. She is a Chartered Technological Product Designer of the Institute of Engineering Designers (iED, UK). She has worked on several design projects at various universities (e.g. University of Nottingham, Leicester University, Loughborough University) as well as with many industrial companies (e.g. Philips, Shell, Océ). Dr Sun brings over ten years’ experience in design-led research through which her work has developed interaction and interfaces which operate between physical and digital spaces. She has completed many international, national (NSFC), municipal projects and industrial projects. Those projects range from serendipitous information seeking, information search engine, intellectual property rights in the design, digital adaptive educational game, creative computer supported cooperative work, transportation design, cultural patterns in product design, to sustainable product design.

Qingfeng Wang is an Associate Professor in Economics since August 2016. He has a BSc degree in Econometric and Operational Research from Maastricht University, both an MSc degree in Financial Mathematics (with distinction) and a PhD degree in Mathematics from the University of Loughborough. He worked as a teaching fellow at NUBS between 2011 and 2016. Qingfeng Wang is a member of the Royal Society of Economics, American Economic Association, and Society of Labor Economist. He has a broad interest in population economics, labour economics, corporate governance, intellectual property rights, and Confucian ethics.

For more information about the authors’ work:

View Qingfeng Wang’s working papers on his SSRN Author page: and his most updated publications on his Google Scholar page: His WeChat account is 17306512753.

View Xu Sun’ s most updated publications on her Google Scholar page: Her Wechat account is 13957446470.