Academia’s Role in China’s Population Policy

November 7, 2011 in Daily Bulletin

Watch what you say; casual conversations have the potential to lead to enormous and incredible results, just ask Geert Jan Olsder. He was the man who wrote a paper called “Population Planning; a Distributed Time Optimal Control Problem” and according to Freakonomics, might have played a role in inspiring one very influential man in China to push for the nation’s infamous One-Child-Policy.

Here is a summary:

  • Olsder met with Song Jian, a well educated fellow from China for some drinks
  • They discuss the implications of population planning, without a second thought from Olsder
  • Jian ultimately plays an instrumental role in developing China’s population control policy

Whether or not it was intended, Olsder looks to have served as a link in the story from theory of population control to actual, full-scale birth rate policy in China.

For the full story, check out the full article here.

Source: Freakonomics