Will Demographic Change Slow China’s Rise?
Karen Eggleston, Jean C. Oi, Scott Rozelle, Ang Sun, Andrew Walder and Xueguang Zhou
The Journal of Asian Studies / FirstView Article / June 2013, pp 1 – 14
DOI: 10.1017/S0021911813000557, Published online: 11 June 2013
Link to this article: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0021911813000557
China’s 2010 census revealed a population of 1.34 billion, 50 percent urban, 13.3 percent
above age sixty, and with 118.06 boys born for every 100 girls. In this article, we discuss
how gender imbalance, population aging, and their interaction with rapid urbanization
have shaped China’s reform era development and will strongly shape China’s future.
These intertwined demographic changes pose an unprecedented challenge to social and
economic governance, contributing to and magnifying the effects of a slower rate of economic
growth. We organize the analysis according to the proximate determinants of economic
growth: first, labor input and its productivity; second, capital investment and
savings; and finally, multi-factor productivity, including social stability and governance.
We argue that the economic, political, and social context that turns labor and capital
inputs into economic outputs is perhaps the most important and least understood
arena in which demographic change will shape China’s rise.