China's little emperors are no risk takers - study

HONG KONG Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:12am IST

Students line up attending a sports class on the playground of a primary school in Dabie Mountain, Anhui province, December 19, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

Students line up attending a sports class on the playground of a primary school in Dabie Mountain, Anhui province, December 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer/Files

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's one-child policy has produced less trusting, less trustworthy and less competitive children compared to the generation born before the policy was introduced, a study has found.

Researchers from Australia's Monash University staged a series of economic games and personality surveys involving 420 people -- half of them born in the few years before China implemented its one-child policy in 1979 and the rest after.

They found that participants in the study who were born after 1979 were also likely to be less conscientious, more pessimistic and slightly more neurotic.

"We are finding that people born under the one-child policy are less risk-taking ... and less likely to be working in risky occupations, in self-employment or in the financial market," said lead author Lisa Cameron, an economics professor at Monash.

"So in terms of implications, broadly, you may be worried about a reduction in entrepreneurial ability with people not willing to take risks and not willing to compete ... you might be concerned about the lack of trust in society and trust is very important even in commercial transactions."

The study was published on Friday in the journal Science.

(Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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