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Sancho Panza

Shortage Of 50M Women May End China's Boom

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Telegraph 2/12/13

'

But are China's boom days numbered?

Some economists fear the double-digit growth China has enjoyed for the past decade may rapidly unwind – and the one child policy is to blame. The 1979 policy was introduced to curb China's booming population, with families heavily fined for breaching strict birth control limits.

The policy has left China short of 50m women…

A preference for boys – not least because they can earn more to support their parents – means endemic illegal sex-selective abortions and the abandonment of baby girls. The sex ratio is estimated at 120 boys for every 100 girls, far above the global average and leaving the country with 50m fewer women than men.

The one-child cohort became known as the 'spoilt generation'. Scientists claim it has fundamentally changed the psychology of a generation, leaving them less altruistic, trusting and competitive. And all that pampering has left China with one of the fastest growing rates of childhood obesity.

Competition for brides is fierce, particularly in the countryside. Love hunters – agents who find brides for China's army of wealthy but lonely young bachelors – are big business, as is internet dating.

Now it's inflating China's housing market

Many mothers will only accept a son-in-law who can provide a spacious home. Economists reckon competition for large homes is driving China's rampant property boom. A small two-bedroom Beijing flat now costs the average of 32-years' salary, or $330,000 dollars. China's property moguls are uneasy – and fear the boom has become a bubble at risk of bursting.

property_2752092c.jpg

Property price rises vs distorted sex ratios

Researchers Zhang and Wei reckon between 30 and 48 per cent in the rise in house prices between 2003 and 2009 was down to gender imbalances, with strong correlations between sex ratios in different towns and house price increases.

Meanwhile, the army of grandparents is growing...

The Mao generation of big families is hitting retirement, and the birth rate has been below replacement level since the mid-1990s. China is rapidly ageing, and by 2050 a third of the population will be over 60. By then there will be just two workers to support every elderly person.

The result: the world's biggest care homes, and the rise of 4-2-1 families: four frail grandparents, two parents and one grandchild to support them all.

...and there's a coming shortage of young workers...

China's stonking growth has been built on cheap exports and plentiful industrial labour, as tens of millions of people were willing to move to the cities and work long hours for low wages.

But the country is approaching what is known as the Lewis Turning Point – where the glut of cheap labour dries up, and businesses have to invest in expensive technology to keep expanding.

...and that will hit everyone.

Policy makers are alarmed. The one child policy is leaving the economy short of 140m workers. That will drive up wages, hit profits and push away investment. Citigroup economists warn it could cut 3 per cent off China's GDP - a slowdown that would be felt around the world.

And many countries in Africa and Latin America have got stuck at a relatively low level of development after a spate of rapid growth after failing to make it over the Turning Point. That fate could befall China – dashing its hopes of becoming a superpower.

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Great isnt it...how we all collectively worship GDP. China had a one child policy for a reason. Even now, all those dams and other projects caused great environmental cost, but in a Krugmanesque call for WW3 just to get unemployment down a couple of notches, the survival of a people is considered a disaster because it might 'surpress GDP a little bit'

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David Cameron should have took my brother's ex on his Chinese jolly.

She put it around with most of the area whilst she was going out with him. 50m will be a drop in the ocean.

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Problem solved: 50 M European unemployed young to emigrate to China.

You'll be hearing about all those 'hard-working' Brits undercutting the Chinese as they have a rise of the right: CDL (EDL style). The Chinese government will promise to limit immigration to protect wages/rents - they won't.

The Brits will then send money home to make sure dad's bum gets wiped in Chinese run super-homes by10 year old bangladeshi girls .... and the merry-go-round goes on.

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According to the chart in the telegraph article China currently has a total of about 1000 million people in it's workforce and it's near to a peak now and will start to gradually decline - although it will still be not far off 1000 million by 2030.

Apparently about 11% of that 1000 million work in industry so there's still a lot of scope for workers outside of industry to move into the industrial sector assuming some extra mechanisation etc etc to replace the transferred workers.

Of course if they're like a lot of UK industry always wanting an easy fix and provision of experienced skilled workers immediately on tap without putting any effort into it then they have a problem - but if they're prepared to put a minimal amount of effort into retraining etc it seems that a current imbalance of 50 million women (or men for that matter) shouldn't be too much of a problem in that context of 1000 million workers.

Maybe it's the price of property that's the real problem but likely the telegraph wouldn't want to make too much of a direct link to that because you never know but then it might make UK readers associate the UK's problems with crazy UK property prices.

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There doesn't seem to be a shortage of women in China, judging by some recent SPAM I have been receiving! :blink:

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Telegraph 2/12/13

'

The policy has left China short of 50m women…

A preference for boys – not least because they can earn more to support their parents – means endemic illegal sex-selective abortions and the abandonment of baby girls. The sex ratio is estimated at 120 boys for every 100 girls, far above the global average and leaving the country with 50m fewer women than men.

Do what they did a couple of thousand years ago in reverse...allow women to have up to 4 husbands.

p.s. I am not Chinese or a women.

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From the telegraph article. The last paragraph.

And many countries in Africa and Latin America have got stuck at a relatively low level of development after a spate of rapid growth after failing to make it over the Turning Point. That fate could befall China – dashing its hopes of becoming a superpower.

As the UK knows only to well there's growth and there's "growth".

There's more to being a superpower than level of population or age distribution etc. There's willingness and ability to enforce power and reliable access to energy and other resources etc.

If shortage of resources is a big factor then a smaller population might improve its chances of becoming a superpower.

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50m excess males? Nothing a small war won't fix.

My thoughts exactly - and the emerging problems of the one-child policy plus the fact that China patently isn't going to be able to keep growing GDP fast enough for much longer probably are not unrelated to the increased sabre rattling and jingoism from the Chinese authorities.

I certainly wouldn't like to be in a country that has land borders with them, or somewhere disputed like Taiwan.

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