Will Changing the One-Child Policy Work?

China Terminates One-Child Policy

First Published: November 12, 2015 ADawnJournal.com

China has decided to end its decades-long one-child policy. I wrote a piece on China’s One-Child Policy in the past. The one-child policy first started nationwide in 1979 to slow population growth. It is estimated that the one-child policy prevented roughly 400 million births in China.

Although the Chinese government didn’t explain this move, it’s widely believed that a drop in workforce and a growing elderly population are the main reasons behind it. Currently, the population in China is 1.35 billion, with 30% over the age of 50. The workforce is made of 64% women and women in the workforce did well in the corporate world because they were required to stay home less due to the previous one-child policy.

Over the long run, there may be a drop in the women’s workforce, as many will choose to stay home to have more than one kid. However, as having one child has become a social norm, there is a possibility that many families will not choose to have more than one kid. And also there is the question of how many families are ready to give up financial stability over having more kids.

There are also concerns that businesses will make it harder for women to stay off work or reluctant to hire them in the first place, knowing women could take off for giving birth repeatedly.

Although there are several factors that will work together to make this new policy work (or not), the most important part is how women in China respond to this change. And we will have to wait to see the outcome, possibly in a few years.