An Economic and Humanitarian Case for Pressing China to Rescind the Two-Child Policy

Nearly 35 years in the making, China’s population-control policies—including the recently reconsidered one-child policy and its replacement, the two-child policy—remain the world’s largest social and demographic experiment. As a result, China is now facing demographic disaster. The one-child policy and the subsequent two-child policy led to human rights abuses and helped fuel China’s serious sex ratio imbalance.

Economic liberalization, not population control, is the key to unleashing China’s full economic potential. Poor policies have hampered the Chinese economy before, and they can do it again. While it is difficult to estimate the precise impact of a complete elimination of the two-child policy, it is possible to predict with some degree of certainty the state of the Chinese labor force and the impact that a shrinking labor force will have on China’s economy if the two-child policy remains in place.

China has the ability to change its economic future for the better by reversing the two-child policy. Indeed, it is in the best interest of the Chinese people, the Chinese economy, and the Chinese government to do so.

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