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Little Emperors: Behavioral Impacts of China's One-Child Policy

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Science  22 Feb 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6122, pp. 953-957
DOI: 10.1126/science.1230221

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Assessing Singletons

The one-child policy introduced by the government of China in 1979 increased the proportion of urban families with an only child; later referred to as "little emperors" in media reports. In 2010, Cameron et al. (p. 953, published online 10 January) recruited approximately 400 residents of Beijing who had been born either before the implementation of the policy (1975 and 1978) or after (1980 and 1983). Using economic games to measure trust, risk, and willingness to compete, they found that the post-1979 cohorts were less trusting and less willing to compete and also more risk averse.