Recently, the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics show that in 2018, the birth population of China was 15.23 million, about 2 million less than the previous year, the second consecutive year of decline, with the birth rate and natural growth rate hitting a record low. How to improve the birth rate? Firstly, it is suggested to use financial means, such as 1,000 yuan per month for each two-child family, plus 100,000 tax exemptions.
Today, Liang Jianzhang, a professor at Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, made the above remarks at the Symposium on Interpreting Population Data: An Increasing Population Crisis: Chinas Population Data and Policy Recommendations.
Liang Jianzhang said that Chinas aging may exceed that of Japan 30 years ago, or even that the severity of Chinas population is actually the highest.
What factors affect Chinas fertility rate?
There are three important factors affecting fertility in China. Liang Jianzhang said that the first is the opportunity cost of womens employment. Because the employment rate of Chinese professional women or urban women is the highest in the world, higher than that of other developed countries. As a result, the opportunity cost for women to have children is particularly high. Secondly, Chinas education burden is the heaviest. Parents have to spend a lot of money and energy to make up for their childrens lessons. Third, Chinas housing prices are the highest. For example, the fertility rates in Hong Kong and Taiwan are lower than those in other countries, but the fertility rates in big cities in China are lower than those in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
So, what policies can be implemented to solve this problem?
Liang Jianzhang suggested that the first is the fiscal subsidy policy. According to the experience of other countries, subsidies of 2% to 5% of GDP are needed to restore Chinas fertility rate to a slightly normal level, which will take about 2 trillion to 5 trillion yuan. For example, every two-child family is subsidized by 1,000 yuan a month plus 100,000 tax exemptions.
Second, reduce the opportunity cost, especially the opportunity cost of working women. How to reduce it? It can provide a large number of kindergartens and elementary schools, and preschool education needs a large number of nurseries. Some countries that have been successful in raising fertility have fairly high attendance rates. But there are almost no nurseries in China now. If we measure it, China needs 500,000 nurseries. Liang Jianzhang said.
In addition, Liang Jianzhang also mentioned that in view of the problem that Chinas overburdened education has affected the fertility rate, the supply of education can be liberalized and increased. For example, he suggested that colleges and universities should be allowed to enroll students independently. Schools may have their own set of standards to enroll students, so that students can learn something more suitable for their development. For example, a math genius may not need to take other courses. Liang Jianzhang said that if the college entrance examination system can not be changed, we can consider shortening the school hours and reducing the middle school from six to four years. On the one hand, we can graduate early and work early. On the other hand, we can increase the supply of schools and reduce the burden.
In view of the problem of high housing prices, Liang Jianzhang suggested that land and household registration be liberalized. The high price of housing is related to Chinas urbanization strategy. However, China is not short of land, and its infrastructure capacity is very strong. It can be said that there is still a lot of room for improvement of this policy. It is suggested that population restrictions in big cities be abolished, land supply in cities with high housing prices be increased, and mega-metropolitan agglomerations be planned.
Now the population problem has been a crisis, but the latent period of this crisis is 20 years, 30 years and 40 years. Therefore, we must act now to liberalize and encourage fertility, to increase the supply of education, to liberalize land supply and household registration in areas with high housing prices, and to liberalize and promote foreign exchanges. Liang Jianzhangs summary.
Source: Xu Meng-NN7485, Responsible Editor of Beijing Newspaper