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The 'Undesirable Impact' of China's One Child Policy


China’s controversial one-child policy may have a negative impact on the country's economy, according to a new study published in the journal Science.

Researchers found that those born under the one-child policy are much less trusting, optimistic, conscientious and competitive.

The study underscores an “undesirable impact” of the policy, said Hong Kong professor Joseph Cheng in an interview with Al Jazeera. The decline of young workers entering the labor force could also contribute to an economic slowdown and a drop in economic consumption as soon as 2015.

Plus: Why More Parents Are Opting To Have One Child

Researchers studied 421 subjects, comparing those born just before the policy’s inception with those born just after. In a series of economic experiments designed to gauge levels of risk-taking and trust, participants invested or exchanged small amounts of money. On average,those born under the policy were found to be less trusting and more adverse to risk.

Researcher Lisa Cameron concluded that there could be economic implications for China since adults born under the policy were less likely to engage in entrepreneurial behavior, reported Al Jazeera.

China created the one-child policy to fight population growth. Since its introduction in 1979, the policy has prevented an estimated 400 million births, according to the National Population and Family Planning Commission in 2011.

Plus: One Mom’s Tips on Spacing Children

A Chinese government think-tank called the China Development Research Foundation has proposed that the policy be phased out, with all limitations ended by 2020.

Do you think the one-child policy should remain in effect, or should it be repealed? Let us know