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China's One-Child Policy: Some Unintended Consequences

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  • David Howden
  • Yang Zhou

Abstract

This paper gives a brief overview of China's family planning policy which, although recently relaxed, still controls a large swath of the population. Unofficially known as the ‘one-child policy’, it resulted from the social strife of the 1970s coupled with a Malthusian pessimism concerning the capability of the still largely closed and isolated Chinese economy to care for itself. We discuss the motivations for the policy, the unfortunate demographic future that it will create, and some policy reforms that can be undertaken today.

Suggested Citation

  • David Howden & Yang Zhou, 2014. "China's One-Child Policy: Some Unintended Consequences," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 353-369, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecaffa:v:34:y:2014:i:3:p:353-369
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecaf.12098
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    1. Lissitsa, Alexej & Rungsuriyawiboon, Supawat, 2006. "Agricultural Productivity Growth in the European Union and Transition Countries," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25353, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Marcos D. Chamon & Eswar S. Prasad, 2010. "Why Are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 93-130, January.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, June.
    4. Josh Angrist, 2002. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage and Labor Markets? Evidence from America's Second Generation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038.
    5. Rungsuriyawiboon, Supawat & Lissitsa, Alexej, 2006. "Agricultural productivity growth in the European Union and transition countries
      [Produktivitätsentwicklung in der Landwirtschaft in der Europaischen Union und in den Transformationsländern]
      ," IAMO Discussion Papers 94, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO).
    6. Séan Rickard, 2012. "Liberating Farming from the CAP," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 85-93, October.
    7. Kenli Schoolland, 2012. "The China Model: Is It A Golden Formula?," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 88-90, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Howden & Jason XingBin Li, 2015. "An Austrian Analysis of China's Unsustainable Boom," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 443-452, October.
    2. repec:eee:poleco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:44-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Howden, David & Zhou, Yang, 2015. "Why Did China’s Population Grow So Quickly?," MPRA Paper 79795, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Brock, Gregory & Jin, Yinghua & Zeng, Tong, 2015. "Fiscal decentralization and China's regional infant mortality," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 175-188.

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