Land of only children
China is widely perceived to be America’s number one rival in the 21st century. But China may have inadvertently handicapped its long-term success thanks to its one-child policy, which was introduced back in 1979. A new study by Australian economists finds that Chinese adults who were born right after the policy are now “significantly less trusting, less trustworthy, more risk-averse, less competitive, more pessimistic, and less conscientious” than those born right before the policy—ostensibly due to the experience of growing up without siblings. Moreover, these adults “are significantly less likely to report that their parents encouraged them to be unselfish and to trust in others [or] to be imaginative,” or to have chosen a risky occupation.