Even if we put the foregoing to one side for the moment, it is also unclear whether such a shift from one child to the more Confucian ideal of two will occur as easily as the government envisage. China is becoming prosperous and raising children is expensive. Two sets of elderly parents in addition to a child is a considerable economic burden. It is by no means certain that, given the choice, many may choose to have another child.
What is the solution to China’s bachelor problem? One Chinese economist, Professor Xie Zuoshi of Shejiang University, has a novel (and a rather repugnant solution to this problem). Allow men to share wives.
In Professor Xie’s own words:
With so many guangun (bachelors), women are in short supply and their value increases, but that doesn’t mean the market can’t be adjusted. The guangun problem is actually a problem of income. High-income men can find a woman because they can pay a higher price. What about low-income men? One solution is to have several take a wife together.