Opinion / From the Readers

Rethink family planning policy

(China Daily) Updated: 2013-01-15 07:53

China's family planning policy has produced a generation of untrusting and over-sensitive "little emperors", a new research by the University of Melbourne has found.

The study shows that individuals who grew up as single children are significantly less trusting, less trustworthy, more risk-averse, less competitive, more pessimistic and less conscientious, according to Nisvan Erkal, associate professor at the University of Melbourne's department of economics.

The researchers surveyed about 400 Beijing residents who were born just before or immediately after the implementation of the family planning policy. They used a series of "economic games", in which the participants exchanged or invested small amounts of money, or made other economic decisions, to measure their levels of trust, risk-taking and competitiveness.

Factors such as the participants' age, marital status and growing exposure to consumerism may have played a role in their decisions, but the population policy best explains their attitude.

David Scott, via e-mail

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(China Daily 01/15/2013 page9)

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