This article from the Spencer Street Soviet doesn’t seem to have had as much coverage as it deserves – John Garnaut reports from Beijing that China is considering loosening the one-child policy.
They’re trying to stimulate China’s anemic birthrate (1.75 children per woman, well below the replacement level of 2.1 children), redress China’s gigantic gender imbalance, and create a bigger working class twenty years down the road when China’s current adults retire…
…and I don’t think it’ll work.
Even if they removed the one-child policy right now, China’s GDP growth would send the birthrate spiraling right back down (thanks to the demographic-economic paradox), and it probably wouldn’t be too many years before the birthrate dropped back below the replacement level.
I’m whipping up an Excel model of China’s age demographics to have a bit of a play with. Watch this space.