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Short, Susan E. & Zhai, Fengying (1996). Household Production and Household Structure in the Context of China's Economic Reforms. Social Forces, 75, 691-717.


China's recent economic reforms have reinstituted the household as the basic unit of production. This article investigates the relationship between household production activities and household size and extension in rural and urban areas in eight Chinese provinces. Drawing upon data from two waves (1989 and 1991) of the China Health and Nutrition Survey, we see households with more working aged members in 1989 are more likely to be engaged in household production activities in 1991. There is no evidence that the inverse is true; household production activities do not appear to impact the number of working aged household members. There is some indication that these results hold whether production activities are agricultural or nonagricultural.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Forces


Short, Susan E.
Zhai, Fengying