Little Emperors: Behavioral Impacts of China's One-Child Policy

Date

2013

Authors

Cameron, Lisa
Erkal, Nisvan
Gangadharan , Lata
Meng, Xin

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Abstract

We document that China's One-Child Policy (OCP), one of the most radical approaches to limiting population growth, has produced significantly less trusting, less trustworthy, more risk-averse, less competitive, more pessimistic, and less conscientious individuals. Our data were collected from economics experiments conducted with 421 individuals born just before and just after the OCP's introduction in 1979. Surveys to elicit personality traits were also used. We used the exogenous imposition of the OCP to identify the causal impact of being an only child, net of family background effects. The OCP thus has significant ramifications for Chinese society.

Description

Keywords

Keywords: behavioral ecology; child care; data set; policy making; population growth; risk factor; survey; article; behavior; China; demography; economics; family size; human; one child policy; personality; personality disorder; policy; priority journal; social evo

Citation

Source

Science

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1126/science.1230221

Restricted until

2037-12-31