Yong Cai


Ph.D., Associate Professor, Sociology


CPC Office: 123 W Franklin St, Room 3106

Campus Office: Hamilton Hall, Room 269
Campus Phone Number: (919) 962-5605

Dr. Cai's Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Cai's Personal Home Page

Dr. Cai's Google Scholar profile

Dr. Cai's publications in PubMed

Dr. Cai's CPC publications

Cai’s research has focused on China’s one-child policy and its implications for fertility and social policies. The one-child policy, engineered to control China’s population growth by restricting fertility to one child per couple, has been controversial for many reasons, including the policy’s questionable demographic and economic assumptions, the ethical concerns regarding direct state intrusion into family matters, and its negative social and demographic impacts. Cai’s work has contributed to an emerging consensus on China’s fertility change and the impact of one-child policy. Specifically, his work shows that: the current fertility level in China is well-below the replacement level; the demographic impact of the one-child policy was modest (debunking the government’s claim that the one-child policy has averted 400 million births; socioeconomic development was of critical importance in China’s fertility decline; and the socioeconomic impacts of low fertility and population aging are substantial. The consensus on these issues, to which Cai contributed, provided the empirical and scientific foundation that persuaded Chinese government to begin revising its three-decades long fertility policy.

Cai will continue to monitor fertility change in response to relaxation of the one-child policy. Also, in anticipation of a sustained low fertility and rapid population aging for China, Cai’s work in the next five years will focus on international comparisons in the connection between population change and economic growth. Cai is a part of global effort that uses the National Transfer Account framework developed by Ronald Lee and Andrew Mason to study both the current and long term connections between population and economic growth. Cai is also working on projects that investigate differential fertility response to major socioeconomic events such as recession and disaster.

Primary Research Areas:

  • Demography

  • Population Health

Information updated on 1/24/2018

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