IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mod/depeco/0643.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

China’s New Demographic Challenge: From Unlimited Supply of Labour to Structural Lack of Labour Supply. Labour market and demographic scenarios: 2008-2048

Author

Listed:
  • Michele Bruni

    ()

Abstract

The paper focuses on the demographic and labour market consequences of the dramatic decline in fertility that has characterized China starting at the beginning of the ‘50s. It is shared opinion that a sustained decline in fertility below replacement level will provoke a decline in Total population, an even more pronounced decline in Working age population and very relevant ageing phenomena. I have recently shown that, on the contrary and coherently with empirical evidence, a decline in fertility provokes a structural lack of labour supply that determines positive migration balances and, finally, positive demographic trends. The paper applies the same approach to China with similar results. The decline in fertility, determined by the process of economic development and its impact on education and urbanization, but promoted also trough the one-child policy, will provoke a relevant and growing structural lack of labour supply, even in the hypothesis that Chinese employment growth should sharply decline. The implication is that in order to continue its road to economic growth and social development, China will have to rely on large and growing migration flows that will determine a demographic expansion. In conclusion, the decline in fertility, actively pursued to set a ceiling to population growth, will end up provoking the opposite result. The uncertainty about the age structure of the Chinese population makes it impossible to determine in which year China will start to be affected by serious labour shortages. Our scenarios do however clearly show that China will reach the Lewis turning point in the next few years and before the middle of the century will become the world largest importer of labour. Our analysis does therefore clearly suggest that any legal restriction to fertility and territorial mobility is totally unwarranted, and that China should start to consider educational and labour policies aimed to mitigate labour shortages. It also indicates the necessity to start an in depth discussion of which immigration and social integration policies could better serve the interests of China, on the light both of the experiences of other countries, and of the role that China wants to play in the international arena.

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Bruni, 2011. "China’s New Demographic Challenge: From Unlimited Supply of Labour to Structural Lack of Labour Supply. Labour market and demographic scenarios: 2008-2048," Department of Economics 0643, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  • Handle: RePEc:mod:depeco:0643
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.dep.unimore.it/materiali_discussione/0643.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marina Murat & Barbara Pistoresi, 2009. "Emigrant and immigrant networks in FDI," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(12), pages 1261-1264.
    2. Giuseppe Marotta, 1997. "Does trade credit redistribution thwart monetary policy? Evidence from Italy," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(12), pages 1619-1629.
    3. Björn Fastrich & Sandra Paterlini & Peter Winker, 2014. "Cardinality versus q -norm constraints for index tracking," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(11), pages 2019-2032, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Tindara Addabbo & Anna Maccagnan, 2011. "The Italian Labour Market and the Crisis," Department of Economics 0644, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Demography; Labour market; Demographic and labour market scenarios; Migrations; Lewis turning point; China;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mod:depeco:0643. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sara Colombini). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/demodit.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.