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The Economic Impact of the One-Child Policy in China

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Submitted By jrodis
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The Economic Impact of the One-Child Policy in China

John F. Rodis
EMBA
International Economics
Professor Jim Stodder
October 15, 2014
The Economic Impact of the Single-Child Policy in China

Thesis Statement: The single-child policy implemented in China more than thirty years ago to slow the rate of population growth, not only had a marginal effect on the growth of the population, but also had the unintended consequence of a long-lasting negative impact on the Chinese economy.

Abstract: The Chinese government imposed a single-child policy 34 years ago in response to a rapidly increasing population that was determined to be unsustainable. Last November, the government ended the policy. A careful review of the literature regarding the efficacy of the policy as well as examination of other factors that could have affected population growth was conducted. The result of this review confirmed that the policy—in and of itself--had only a marginal impact on the growth of the Chinese population. However, the policy resulted in a significant change in the demographics of the Chinese population, with the result of China having a significantly older population than many developed nations, but one that aged at a much faster rate. However, unlike these developed nations, neither the Chinese people nor their government is adequately prepared for this rapidly aged population. As a consequence, there will be significant long-lasting negative consequences on the Chinese economy, including a shortage in the work force, an inadequate health care system, insufficient senior living facilities, and an underfunded social welfare system to care for the elderly.

Between 1949 and 1976, the population of China increased from 540 million to 940 million people1. Part of this growth was the direct response of Chairman Mao’s belief that population growth meant more power to the...

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