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Demographic Consequences of the Great Leap Forward in China's Provinces

Xizhe Peng
Population and Development Review
Vol. 13, No. 4 (Dec., 1987), pp. 639-670
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/1973026
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1973026
Page Count: 32
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Demographic Consequences of the Great Leap Forward in China's Provinces
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Abstract

This article examines the demographic consequences of China's Great Leap Forward--the massive and ultimately unsuccessful drive during 1958-62 to leap ahead in production by mobilizing society and reorganizing the peasantry into large-scale communes. Severe excess mortality and massive fertility shortfalls are documented, but with wide variations among provinces and between rural and urban areas. The demographic crisis was caused, in the first instance, by nationwide food shortages. However, these are attributable to declines in grain production, entitlement failure, and changes in consumption patterns, all of which are ultimately traceable to political and economic policies connected with the Great Leap.

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