Social Change Research Paper

Pages: 7 (3271 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage

China One Child Policy

Social Change One Child Policy

Economic reform has brought many changes to China's rural economy in the past two decades, as reflected in a combination of rapid economic growth, rural industrialization, structural change, and sharp reductions in fertility. This dissertation evaluates the possible consequences of these changes on women's labor force participation.

The first essay explores the impact of China's "one-child policy" on female work patterns through its possible effects on fertility. Early studies that took fertility behavior to be exogenous to female labor supply tended to find that fertility has a negative impact on female labor supply.

This ignores a potential selection problem inherent in the estimation of the fertility-female labor supply relation, namely, that women who prefer to work may also desire fewer children. I use the instrumental variable method identifying variables that correlate with fertility but have no direct impact on labor supply to resolve this problem.

Thesis statement

In China the policy is called the planned birthed policy, but in Western countries it is called the one child policy. The one child policy is misleading because it is believed that couples in mainland China are required to only have one child. But the one child policy is promoted as an ideal and the limit has been strongly enforced in urban areas, and the implementation varies depending on location.


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In most rural areas, families are allowed to have two children, if the first child is female, or disabled. "For the majority of the Chinese population with rural or agricultural household registration statues, provincial-level fertility policy can be grouped into three categories: 1) One- Child policy; in six provinces, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Jiangsu, and Sichuan, almost all residents are expected to follow the one-child-per-couple policy. 2) 1.5 children policy; in 19 provinces, rural residents are allowed to have a second child after a specified birth interval if the first birth is a girl. 3)

Research Paper on Social Change Assignment

Two- children policy; in five provinces, Hainan, Ningxia, Qinghai, Yunnan, and Xinjiang, all rural couples are allowed to have two children." (Scharping, 2003, p67-88) Also married couples which come from one child families are allowed to have more than one child. There are also wide arrays of special exemptions for couples who are not from one child families.

State power

In areas that are more restricting, additional children may result in fines. This can be done either by being forced to pay a penalty, or by not receiving funds from the birth control program, education, and family's health care. Some couples are allowed to simply pay a fine or social maintenance fee to have more children. China's harsh birth planning policies, while immensely controversial from ethical, moral, and international standpoints, are attributed from a direct economic need to manage the country's population.

Population signifies the production prospective of the country and also indicates large amounts of state spending to maintain this population's health, education, and welfare programs. (Wang, 2005, p117-28) An immense population has created severe economic burden on the country's economy, that taking control of the population is important in sustaining economic success. The correlation between population health and economics of a country continually affect each other.

The dynamics of this reciprocating pathway should be investigated before any governing body authorizes a decision which will impact society enormously. One of the functions of the government is to improve the quality of its citizens' lives. Governments can fully take on the responsibility of providing universal access to health care services. Also governments can enforce taxes to redistribute income and provides subsidies for the disadvantaged groups. (White, 2000, p74-78) But still health disparities persist and only benefit a portion of the population. China has made a bold move in sustaining its economic success through placing restrictions on its population. China is inducing higher living standards through a reduction in population growth by the one child policy to increase economic stability. (Head- Jones, 2004). China is also facing the dilemma of supplying its large population with quality education and quality healthcare. So although there may have been increased economic growth, the issues pertaining to the size of the population overwhelm these potential benefits and may even weaken existing support systems. (Winckler, 2002, p379-418)

While the one child policy is controversial, it is effective in reducing population growth. China's Communist leaders have pledged to focus on environmental protection and quality of life rather than seeking maximum economic growth (Scharping, 2003, p67-88). So capital earned from the controlled population growth will be reallocated into the population, strengthening existing life supports. Therefore more resources will be available for each individual, improving quality of life by investing in education, health care, welfare, public health, and better provision of water and sanitation. (Winckler, 2002, p379-418)

China has performed this population control relatively quickly but future predictions are uncertain of the consequences pertaining to the swiftness of the control. The drastic economic growth and now the quick decline in fertility rates will immensely impact their society.

Health Aspects

In rural areas, the health care system consists of village doctors and clinics, township health centers, and general hospitals. Most Chinese people live in rural areas which may negatively affect elderly health due to their lower economic status. Also millions of migrant workers travel to cities to gain employment, which may leave their elderly relatives to take care of themselves without their traditional social network. (Wang, 2005, p117-28) Community health centers, district hospitals, and tertiary hospitals constitute the health care system for the urban areas. Also due to the epidemiological transition in China, the chronic disease became the more prominent ailment to afflict the middle to older age groups. In general, stroke, cancer, ischemic heart disease, and chronic lung disease account for most of the mortality among middle-aged and older people, while children generally die from a short list of infections, most of which are relatively inexpensive to treat or prevent (Wang, 2005, p117-28)

There is evidence that now "China's disease profile resembles that of a developed country: 85% -- 90% of deaths are due to non-communicable diseases and injuries" (Scharping, 2003, p67-88). The rapid growth of the elderly population will create a large cohort of individuals with chronic disease. This will place a burden on the support systems which may lead to a decrease quality of life and create more economic strain on elderly people and society.

Geriatric departments have developed due to the growing need to provide care for retired government officials and workers (Poston, 2002, p333-47) Physicians that are currently in the geriatric department are specialized in other areas and develop future geriatricians through residents who are trained in the geriatric department.

Economic aspects

Economic reform has profound effects on how households allocate their family labor to different economic activities. By using the number of individual hours allocated to each activity, combined with average family "wages," as the basis for identifying individual "earnings," we estimate the relative incomes of men and women, and the correlation of incomes and labor supply with a set of village-level economic variables. Our empirical results confirm that economic reform has brought significant changes in the allocation of labor in the rural Chinese economy. Most striking of all, we find a general decline in the time spent in agriculture, which applies to both men and women. This finding is certainly in great contrast to the notion that women are being discriminated against and being "left on the farm." (White, 2000, p74-78)

On the contrary, women's participation on the non-agriculture sectors has increased substantially. This has helped to improve women's contribution to household income. However, men are in a much better position to gain from the process of structural transformation and their income has grown at a faster pace, and consequently, the relative contribution of women to household income has declined in the process of economic development. (Wang, 2005, p117-28)

We find that most of our evidence suggests that agriculture is still an important relative and absolute source of income for women. Finally, we find that in the process of structural transformation human capital plays an important role in allocating labor to the non-agriculture sector. The fact that men are usually the household members who receive more education perhaps explains why they are in a better position to take advantage of lucrative non-farm opportunities. (White, 2000, p74-78)

Present and Future of One Child Policy in China

Understanding the dynamics of the Chinese society which constitutes a large portion of our global population is vital. As populations increase and as resources are exhausted, other nations will arrive at a similar dilemma of sustaining economic success while improving living standards. (Poston, 2002, p333-47)Countries such as India have an immense population with a growing economy can learn from China's strategy to cope with this issue. These reforms which have stimulated economic growth has helped lift an unprecedented 150 million people out of poverty bringing the poverty rate down from 53% of population in 1981 to 8% in 2001 (Scharping, 2003, p67-88).

The Chinese government is… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Social Change" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Social Change.  (2012, February 17).  Retrieved October 31, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Social Change."  17 February 2012.  Web.  31 October 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Social Change."  February 17, 2012.  Accessed October 31, 2020.