News / Asia

    Australian Research Examines China’s One-Child Policy

    Parents play with their children at a kid's play area in a shopping mall in Beijing. Authors of a new study say the one-child policy has significant ramifications for Chinese society, January 10, 2013.
    Parents play with their children at a kid's play area in a shopping mall in Beijing. Authors of a new study say the one-child policy has significant ramifications for Chinese society, January 10, 2013.
    Phil Mercer
    Australian researchers say a new study measures how China's contentious one-child policy has affected the personality traits of generations of people.  The team from Melbourne compared people who were born just before the policy was introduced in the late 1970s to those born after.
     
    Researchers analyzed 421 adults in China.  Fifty percent were born a few years before the one-child policy was instituted in 1979, while the other half were born a few years after.
     
    Economic games and surveys were used to gauge the participants' behavior and their personality traits.
     
    One test was called the “trust game.”  A volunteer was given some money, which they could then give to an anonymous partner, who in turn would see the amount donated increased threefold.
     
    Academics found that those born under the one-child policy would give notably less money to the partner.  As recipients in the experiment, they also returned less to the person who originally gave them the money.
     
    Other tests examined characteristics such as the willingness to take risks, and levels of competitiveness and pessimism.
     
    Nisvan Erkal, an associate professor in the department of economics at the University of Melbourne, says the one-child policy has affected generations of Chinese. “What we find from the experiments we did, is that those people born under the one-child policy, and who are single children as a result of the policy, are significantly less trusting, less trustworthy, more risk-averse and less competitive,” he said.
     
    Australian researchers were assisted by a survey company in China, which helped with the logistics of the two-year project.  Erkal says her team did not encounter any difficulties in conducting research in China, adding that the Chinese government was “quite open” about discussions of its one-child policy.
     
    Erkal says the effects of the population control policy that restricts families in urban areas to a single child could take years to reverse.  “The policy has been in effect since 1979, so it has affected generations, and there are discussions right now to abolish the policy, and once it is abolished, then the effects will start to decline," explained Erkal. "But it is going to take time.”  

    The Melbourne team also stressed that the one-child policy was not strictly enforced across the country, so the results should not be applied to everyone in China.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora