China’s demographic dividend is no longer an expert: the economy will never say goodbye to high growth-International-Liberty Times Newsletter

Deng Yuwen, a Chinese political scientist living in the United States, pointed out that China’s demographic dividend is no longer there, and the economy will never say goodbye to the high growth rate of more than 7%. (AFP file photo)

2023/01/24 07:42

[Instant News/Comprehensive Report]The National Bureau of Statistics of China recently announced the population data for 2022, which is 850,000 fewer than that in 2021. This is the first negative population growth in China in more than 60 years. Deng Yuwen, a Chinese political scientist living in the United States, pointed out that negative population growth not only means that China’s long-term occupation of the “throne” of the world’s most populous country will be changed, but also means that China will bid farewell to the high rate of more than 7% forever from now on. growing up.

Deng Yuwen pointed out in a special article published on the Voice of America (VOA) Chinese website on the 24th that most developed countries and developing countries have experienced a period of high growth, but China started from the reform and opening up in 1978 to 2015 in the 37 years Except for the three years of 1981, 1989, and 1990, the growth rate in 34 years was above 7%, and most of the years even exceeded 9%. Although it was a miracle, it also paid a heavy price.

Deng Yuwen believes that when explaining China’s high growth over the past 34 years, one of the consensus among the academic circles is the demographic dividend. Although China began to implement the “one-child policy” in the early 1980s, it will take 20 to 30 years for the policy to have a substantial negative effect on economic growth. In this process, China’s huge population, especially the young labor force, has become the biggest contributor to economic growth.

The so-called demographic dividend refers to a large proportion of the working population, a low dependency ratio, strong creativity in social wealth, and a relatively obvious situation of high savings, high investment, and high growth in the entire society. In the long period since the reform and opening up, this remarkable demographic dividend has been present. In other words, the “miracle” of high economic growth is the contribution of a high labor force participation rate. According to different estimates by scholars, the contribution of the demographic dividend to China’s economic growth ranges from 15% to 27%.

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However, since 2012, the consequences of family planning have emerged. The working-age population has gradually decreased after reaching its peak, and the demographic dividend has gradually entered a process of decay, and the economic growth supported by the demographic dividend has naturally begun to decline. After 2020, due to the impact of Wuhan pneumonia (new coronavirus disease, COVID-19), the average growth rate is only more than 4%. Among them, 2020 is the worst performance since the reform and opening up, and 2022 is the second worst.

Deng Yuwen pointed out that what is interesting is that China’s economy has turned from high growth to medium-high growth and then to low growth, which coincides with the 10 years of President Xi Jinping’s administration. This is not a coincidence, but an inherent inevitability, including the fact that Xi was hesitant to abolish the “one-child” population policy once the harm had become apparent. He only made partial adjustments and did not allow three-child policy until 2021, missing the opportunity.

Deng Yuwen believes that Xi’s hesitation has caused China’s demographic dividend to be exhausted prematurely, and he has prescribed the wrong prescription for industrial transformation and upgrading. Starting from the rule of the Communist Party, he believes too much in the power of state-owned enterprises and guards against the private economy and capital. The supply-side reform has not achieved much effect so far, but has made the situation worse. This is the situation of China’s economy today.

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