The child one policy is a Chinese government initiative which demanded that the couples in China should have one child only. The policy was enacted by the government as a to control the rising population rate in the country; the government viewed the population as too high to support. The initiative was rolled with the best interest of the country at heart at a time when population growth was a great concern to the government. The policy may have benefited the country on a short term but there are long term effects and for this reason, the Chinese government shifted this to two-child policy in 2016. The one-child policy enacted by the Chinese government in 1979 has affected the nation’s economy both in a positive and a negative way.
There are some evident effects of the one-child policy implementation in China. The economic changes that have been experienced in China in the past two to three decades can be explained by the one child policy. The high number of slums, high population and overwhelmed social services have decreased rapidly, courtesy of the one child law (Hesketh, Lu & Xing, 2005). There is no stiff competition among the citizens thus allowing even distribution of resources among the people. Those that have been employed have benefited greatly since there are adequate resources to be shared among the members if an average household and enough to save for the future (Fong, 2004). This explains why the family and individual savings have been on the rise for the past three decades. A country that has high savings is most like to be stable in the future. There is no risk of depletion of resources even if the population starts to grow. It gives every citizen a chance to earn a living.
The policy has allowed the government to offer better services to its citizens. Compare a country that has a huge and growing population to a country that less populated and has equal wealth (Howden and Zhou, 2014). China cannot be grouped with the nations that are well known to be wealthy such as the United States. One of the roles of the government is to make sure that the citizens receive the best services in education, healthcare among others. The poor Chinese economy could not support the high number of its citizens (Zhang and Goza, 2006). According to Huang (2017), with the one-child policy, the population reduced to reasonable number. Therefore, almost every person in China would have the chance to access the government resources without a lot of struggle. The government resources could be distributed equally without some groups of people being left out of the equation (Cheng, 2013). More children got access to better education, pregnant mother got better maternity services while all citizens enjoyed improved government services.
Figure 1 Easing the One-Child Policy (Source: Rieti)
This law improved the living standards of most families in China. The new born has the opportunity to have a more comfortable life than a family that has several kids. All the love, attention and resources owned by the parents will be directed towards raising the child. The child will have the chance to get access to better healthcare services, best education as well as high probability of getting employed through the one-child policy law (Howden & Zhou, 2014). The law promises a bright future for the child. With the little expenditure on parents, they are able to save for their future use. The policy does not only better the life of the child but also for the parents. The parents with more than one child are forced to sacrifice a lot of things so that they are able to take of the children. With one child, there no much sacrifices and therefore they are not only able to afford the basic needs but also luxurious things.
It is unquestionable that the one-child policy caused massive reduction of the country’s fertility rate. The low fertility rate is good thing to the families since they are able to save more by reducing the expenditure (Zeng & Hesketh, 2016). First, one child is less demanding in terms of their expenditure in education, food, shelter and other basic needs. If the parents are able to spend less and save more, they will have less pressure after their retirement. However, there are those parents who are poor in saving money despite the reduced expenditure, meaning they will have very little after retirement (Doherty, Norton, and Veney, 2001). Such parents will give their child a hard time to support them after the retirement. Imagine a situation where the parents, grands parents are dependent on one child who may not even have a stable job or is not wealthy enough to support them. The ‘one child’ will also be pressured to support his/her own family. Isn’t that a lot to ask from one person?
China produces some of the best graduates from universities and colleges thanks to the one child policy. Parents are able to give their children more attention including taking them to the best schools the country has. Everything is available to the children to allow them to grow in all aspects of life. Again, the teachers are able to handle lesser number of students better than when schools are crowded (Bongaarts and Greenhalgh,1985). The extra attention given to students improves their academic excellence and also encounter minimal challenges throughout their school life. They are well exposed before they complete school and get employed. All the above shows how the students are well prepared for their careers. Therefore, it will not be a huge challenge for them to adapt to the working environment. Having qualified task force in various business is key factor in growth of a country’s economy. This regime could be regarded as the most and best educated in the history of China.
This initiative by the Chinese government created job opportunities for most people during that period. It mostly benefited the children who were born during that period since they were able to secure job positions without much competition. During the one-child period, there were a lot of elderly people retiring who eft their job positions vacant. More job vacancies were created from the rising rate of industrialization rate in China. Considering the two factors, the new job positions and the vacant ones from the retirees needed to be filled and the young generation at that time were lucky to get the jobs (Feng, Cai, and Gu, 2013). In comparison to the period before the policy was enforced, the high population increased competition in the job market which rendered most people jobless. Sometimes a family wasn’t lucky to have one of them employed. After the policy, it was almost a guarantee that the ‘one child’ will secure a stable job.
Assuming the one-child policy only had positive impact on the Chinese Economy is a nightmare. The following are of the negative economic effects that resulted from the policy. One, there were massive complaints from the employers that most employees do not have skills suited for certain jobs. Most children who were raised during the experiment period were over protected and given all the attention. They had a comfortable life where by almost all their necessities were provided by the parents. For this reason, they failed to work hard in school to attain the required skills. They had the mentality that was all was taken care of inclusive of their basic needs and the guarantee they will get a job. After getting a job, these children will have a hard time adjusting to the working environment since they were not exposed well enough in their childhood. They are less concerned about their jobs since they are sure of getting another one in case they are fired.
The countries productivity reduced as a result of the one child policy. High population creates new job opportunities since everyone has create a way to sustain their lives. The new innovations and industrialization come a long with new positions (Wang, 2005). After introduction of the one child policy as a measure to control the rising population, the job positions that were there didn’t go away but instead they were rendered vacant. Considering the reduced population in the country and unskillful youths, there will be no people to feel the vacant positions. Some of the employers will be forced to terminate their businesses since they do not have enough labor force to meet their client’s needs. What impact will this have on the overall productivity of the nation? The productivity will go down since there are no enough people to work on the available tasks. This means that the profit made if not loss will be minimal.
As much as the one child policy has created employment opportunities, the fact that it has reduced competition in the job market cannot go unmentioned. Lack of competition in the job market is a threat to a country’s economic growth (). Competition is a good thing since everyone will be encouraged to work hard and be more productive than the other person. In such a situation where there is no competition means that people are too comfortable and are not motivated to move forward. The businesses cannot blossom once the employees know that they are not in competition with any one. The kind of services offered to the people will be poor. The people born in that era need to understand that there are better people to perform a task if they cannot uphold their duties as required. Again, lack of competition brings laziness among the people.
The population growth decreased rapidly sometime after the policy was executed by the government. The initial desire of implementing the policy became one of the greatest threats to the nation’s economy. Thirty years later after the law was introduced, the government rolled out the two-child initiative to help raise population number. This show how serious the policy impacted negatively on the country’s population. The fact that there is rapid aging in China in absence of stable net and standards of living confirms that the country is an example of a society that gets old prior to being rich (Doherty, Norton and Veney, 2001). Supporting the high number of old and retired people is a serious issue viewing it from the economics perspective. It’s within the Chinese law that the old and sick must be support by their siblings or family members. A problem arises in a situation where there is no one to support them since the government will have to chip in with the little resources it has to help them. It was recorded that the migration from the rural to urban areas increased soon after the one child law was introduced. The rural to urban migration has numerous effects on the economy. One, it would lead to increased unemployment in the urban region since most people would relocate in search for jobs. Those who don’t get jobs are likely to engage criminal activities such as stealing to sustain their life in city.
Higher population means higher demand for commodities which would in turn cause an increase in their prices. The agricultural food prices would also go up due to the increased cost of labor in the rural areas. There will be acute of shortage of schools and health facilities in the urban areas. Higher population leads to higher demand for the government services. One advantage is the enhancement economic status in the rural areas since those have secured jobs in the urban areas send money home for development and other agendas. Therefore, there is overall growth of the country. The impact of one child policy is the imbalance between the male and female gender in the country. Studies show that since introduction of this policy, the number of men in China has increased (Tyler, Allison, and Winsler, 2006). There is high preference of the male child in China and therefore most parents prefer to give birth to a boy since they only have a single chance to give birth. In case the scan shows the probability of having a girl, most parents opt to do an abortion or give out the child for adoption after birth. The gender imbalance is a serious issue that could affect the economy. Try to figure out who will work in so referred ‘women’s jobs’. There are high chances that such businesses are likely to close due to lack of labor. Likewise, those that sell the ladies items such as clothes, ornaments will run out of business due to low demand.
For a country to have sustainable economic growth it must be able to control its population. The enactment of the policy where each family should have only one kid managed to control the country’s population. China is one of the highly populated countries in the world with a population of over one billion people. Every family in China was expected to abide by that law to the extent they were issue certificates. Introduction of this law prevented millions of births that happened every year. Was it not for the one child policy the Chinese population could have continued to grow to unsustainable level? Highly population could have led to depletion of resources since they could not be enough for every citizen. The government is able to sustain the current population otherwise there would be a high rate of unemployment, poor healthcare services from government institutions, lack of enough schools and high level of poverty.
The one child policy enacted by the Chinese government in 1979 has affected the nation’s economy both in a positive and negative way. The issue has always been a controversy to other nations wondering whether its governments business to dictate how much may children a family should have. The fact that China was able to manage the its population to a controllable number proves that the policy got the country to a sustainable economic path. If population was allowed to grow, the government would not have adequate resources for its people which might lead to political tension (Fong, 2002). The three decades that the law was viable has proved to the world that in deed the one child policy was the best option for China’s economy.
Form the economic perspective, this law has proved its advantages through improved standards of living for those who are employed and benefits of social insurance to the unemployed. The families have gotten better due to the reduced responsibilities and ability to save for the future. Also, there is high level of employment in the country and improved government services. On the other hand, it has shown its disadvantages through the rapid reduction in population and significant aging of the population. Also, the treasury financial inflow reduced but the government handle d this through high resources allocation and cheap labor. Lack of enough labor employees as well as employees without skills. It is not a coincidence that within the three decades from the introduction of the one child rule, China grew to become one of the economic super powers. It’s now the leading country in terms of money holdings in the treasury. Al that matter now is that mater is that China has a sustainable economic growth.