The one-child policy and Chinese child trafficking

In the past 40 years, a large number of children have been abandoned by their families or have been abducted in China. We argue that the implementation of the one-child policy has significantly increased both child abandonment and child abduction and that, furthermore, the cultural preference for sons in China has shaped unique gender-based patterns whereby a majority of the children who are abandoned are girls and a majority of the children who are abducted are boys. We provide empirical evidence for the following findings: (1) Stricter one-child policy implementation leads to more child abandonment locally and more child abduction in neighboring regions; (2) A stronger son-preference bias in a given region intensifies both the local effects and spatial spillover effects of the region’s one-child policy on child abandonment and abduction; and (3) With the gradual relaxation of the one-child policy after 2002, both child abandonment and child abduction have dropped significantly. This paper is the first to provide empirical evidence on the unintended consequences of the one-child policy in terms of child trafficking in China.

That is the abstract of a new paper by Xiaojia Bao, Sebastian Galiani, Kai Li, and Cheryl Xiaoning Long.


Authors are very late to the party here. The female children were being purchased by orphanages for, on average, 150USD and sold to Americans for 15,000USD. Just watched a YouTube doc about this that was years old.

They should treat this the way they treat ivory, i.e. cannot import it or possess it. In other words stop allowing Chinese children to be adopted.

Aren't you people supposed to think that Asians are genetically more intelligent and will raise the average IQ? Let's get some of those Chinese genes in the gene pool!!

Who you calling "you people" Willis?

I was going to be all horrified and sad at the thought of all those abandoned children, but this makes me think otherwise. They got adopted by rich American parents, their lives are probably much better than they otherwise would have been. (Aside from the sadness of not knowing their biological parents).

I suppose where some might see a horrible collusion of a pointless authoritarian policy that is deeply harmful for China with opportunistic entrepreneurs who actually *deepen* the enforcement of that policy, through corruption.... some see only an efficient market in human lives.

(The second of those perhaps have a disproportionate tendency to count among them libertarians who often tout their concern over dysfunctional relationships between private enterprise and the state. Until they actually encounter one of these relationships in the wild, at which point they revert to being "pro-business" and entrepreneur...)

Is the market in children an efficient market? Does it produce the optimal result? Would the market in children be more efficient if it were global? Is opposition to a market in children similar or the same as opposition to a market in body organs and body parts? If there were an efficient market in children would quality breeders become the preferred choice for procreation and produce a super race? Isn't that what insects do? Is the preference for chance in procreation a market failure or just the absence of a market in children?

I could envision different product lines for children, such as one product line with Mr. Rogers as a breeder and another product line with Mark Zuckerberg as a breeder. How about a polymath product line with, dare I say it, Cowen as a breeder. Come to think of it, the sorting process that has developed in marriage and procreation is a form of market. Is it an efficient market? Arguably not, because it exacerbates the social and economic problems of excessive inequality; indeed, one might conclude that sorting contributes to excessive and rising inequality. Should sorting be banned? If there were a market in children, this type of sorting would be eliminated as breeders would become the preferred choice for procreation.

The problem is that a brood of Cowens won't be able to find jobs in the scarce think-tank/academia area while the entire brood of Zuckerbergs can all get jobs at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. It's the classic problem of elite overproduction as espoused by Peter Turchin:

Ah, yes, the joy of children and childhood:

Presumably the relevant market here is elder care, subject to cultural limitations that require it to come from daughters-in-law.

Maybe criminals are to be blamed for their crimes, not society.

Who? The Communists who came up with this disgusting policy? I agree, they should be hung from lamp posts.

No, the criminals who kidnap or kill the children. The One Child Policy is no more to blame for crimes against children than property is to be blamed for robbery.

Isn't it touching how American fascists are, all of a sudden, concerned about Chinese children?! Maybe they should be concerned about American children in the ghettos, being denied proper education and healthcare and being hunted down and killed by the so-called American police!!

Yeah, the States trying to force babies being born are also the ones trying to deny them health care and education and a healthy environment. Which is led to shorter life expectancies in those States.

Interesting the California is the only State without shorter life expectancy/increased premature death in the recently released report, as interpreted/summarized by reporters.

But the anti-Muslim Trump administration, and advocate of more secret prisons for only Muslims outside the reach of the Constitution, attacking China for reeducation Muslims is more than a bit ironic. Trump would demand Chinese Muslims arriving at immigration seeking asylum be immediately deported back to China as criminal terrorists.

And in general, the US has many conservative driven policies that have had consequences at least as bad a one-child, eg, war on drugs, tough on crime, three strikes, minimum sentences, zero tolerance,....

Pro tip: you guys are supposed to pretend to care about human suffering before changing the subject to Trump.

Thankfully, human suffering is a Chinese monopoly, so Americans have to go all the way to China ro be able to commiserate about children's suffering. Evidently, there is no sudh a thing in Trump's America.

Hilarious double down. Point to Tom T.

"Maybe they should be concerned about American children in the ghettos, being denied proper education and healthcare and being hunted down and killed by the so-called American police!!"

I think in general they are concerned about those children. But they see the problems you list as endogenous to the community, and there isn't much they can do about that.

How can the denial of a future for poor children in the richest country in the history of rich countries be something nothing can be done about it anyway?! It is outrageous and preposterous!

I didn't say nothing could be done about it. I said that there isn't much the "fascists" you named can do about it, because those "fascists" believe that 80 percent of the problem lies within the community itself. Bryan Caplan will have much to say about this in his forthcoming book on poverty.

But this is an awful way of thinking. We can send people to the moon, but can't fix our schools and homes and shelters?!

The "fascists" would say that we could certainly fix the schools and homes and shelters, but they would just end up broken again a few years later. The "fascists" would say that unless the community's poor habits are changed, there is really no point in throwing good money after bad.

To return to your original point... you suggested that the "fascists" did not really care about poverty in America. My reply was that they do care, on the whole, but they disagree with you about its root causes. This disagreement is fundamental.

Maybe we should cast out the beam out of our own eyes before trying to cast out the motes of Chinese eyes.

Let's do both! A human life is a human life.

It is not that simple. As much as we might dislike Chinese ukases, there are serious reasons for them. We should not meddle with China's internal affairs.

The "fascists" believe that 80 percent of the problem lies within the community itself.

Criminy! This is all just rhetoric, let's look at the numbers.

In 2017, the FBI reported over 88% of all Black homicides in the US were perpetrated by other Blacks. The ethnicity of 62 of offenders was unknown to the police so the actual percentage of Black suspects/killers is probably slightly higher. See link below.

Today in most major metropolitan areas Black police pursue Black murder suspects of Black victims. If caught today most Black suspects are brought before a Black police chief, Black DA or Black judge.

"The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have Me." John 12:8

Real poverty is people denying Jesus. Know Jesus Know Peace. No Jesus No Peace.

Bless Your Heart.

"The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have Me."

What does it have to do with how we treat the poor when we do not have Him? The sentence is an obvious reference to the the brief time when Christ was among his Disciples (and a woman she poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair). It refers by definition to a very provisory situation. And, of course, "Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

You all failed the Thiago reading comprehension test.


I really do not know what you mean.

Sure you do, hun.

No, I do not.

+5 points for the Thiago sighting and some solid snark after.

Maybe you are mistaking me for someone else.

I mean, he makes it obvious for the humor. You can't laugh at people who don't *read* who he is, if it isn't sort of obvious. MR's own Ken M.

I think you are mistaken. Mr. Sharpe made some good points.

Saw some horrifying videos of child abduction in china, basically people snatching children right out of their parents hands, jumping in a waiting vehicle and driving off, horrifying.

Why would the one child policy lead to more abductions? Were people stealing kids so they could have more children in their household?

The misery and suffering that is visited upon the innocent in the name of the “greater good”...

So, if human life is sacred, miraculously more and more so the more there is of it, thus population control is the last and greatest evil, what prompts child abandonment in India?


None of this horrible evil occurred when Barack Hussein Obama was president.


Obama is not Indian.

Don't be naive. Obama was born in Kenya, and Kenya is full of Indians. So he almost certainly has enough Indian blood to qualify for tribal status in the US. That's how he got elected in the first place!

It is not how it works!! His father was African, and his mother was Caucasian. There is nothing Indian about him!


It proves nothing whatsoever. He was just being polite. Former president Bush wore typical Chinese clothes in China:

And what have the welfare policies in the US accomplished? Plenty of poor, ignorant and violent people no body wants, not even kidnappers.

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