Marketplace recently ran a week-long series on China’s one-child policy, covering its history, the life of only children, parental expectations, exceptions to the rule, and the future economic repercussions of the policy. This is well worth listening to (and it’s a good idea to read the accompanying interviews and articles as well). In short, the one-child policy is coming home to roost, and the prospects for the future gender gap (fewer women compared to men) is sobering.
Marketplace Shanghai Bureau Chief Scott Tong concludes his three-year posting in China with an in-depth series about the controversial policy that restricts many Chinese families to having no more than one child. In this multimedia series we look at how the one-child policy in China came into being 30 years ago and how it has evolved. We examine the highly-programmed lives of so-called “Little Emperors” and the way in which businesses market to them. We investigate if Chinese citizens actually want bigger families in a rapidly urbanizing and often materialistic society. And we look at the economic repercussions of the policy in terms of future labor shortages to find out if China’s days as the cheap-labor “factory of the world” are numbered.