Image credit: Dave Watts.
We’ve talked in the past about how the one child policy has created a yawning gender gap in China, leaving a whole generation of men unmarried. Upside down pyramidical family structures also mean that a rapidly ageing population will have a shortage of people to care for them. Now it turns out that the products of the one child system may tank the economic miracle their parents helped to create.
WSJ China Real Time explains:
China’s only children tend to be more pessimistic, more self-centered and more risk averse, traits that are likely to affect the country’s labor market and have economic implications, according to a study conducted by a team of four researchers from Australian universities.
The report, published on Thursday by the journal Science, said that of those in the study who were born after the one-child rule went into effect, 23% were less likely to take on occupations that entail business risk, such as entrepreneurialism and investment, compared to those children born before the policy was implemented. China’s only children also tend to be less competitive and less conscientious, said the study, conducted on a general population of residents of Beijing, where the policy has been strictly enforced.
Results of the study add to existing evidence that China’s adherence to its population control policy may be risking the stability of its future economy.
This latest study, along with numerous other pessimistic findings about the results of China’s three decade experiment in population control, will fuel demands by many within the Communist Party to scrap the policy as soon as possible.