China announced on Monday that couples would be allowed to have up to three children, up from the current limit of two, in a bid to reverse a rapid decline in new births.
Following are reactions from academics and economists.
ZHIWEI ZHANG, CHIEF ECONOMIST AT PINPOINT ASSET MANAGEMENT:
"The immediate impact is likely to be positive but small on the macro level. The long term impact depends on if the government can successfully reduce the cost for raising children – particularly education and housing."
HAO ZHOU, SENIOR ECONOMIST ASIA, COMMERZBANK
"If relaxing the birth policy was effective, the current two-child policy should have proven to be effective too. But who wants to have three kids? Young people could have two kids at most. The fundamental issue is living costs are too high and life pressures are too huge."
YIFEI LI, SOCIOLOGIST, NYU SHANGHAI
"I feel the proposal fails to recognise the reasons behind the decline in fertility ... People are held back not by the two-children limit, but by the incredibly high costs of raising children in today's China. Housing, extracurricular activities, food, trips, and everything else adds up quickly. An effective policy should have provided more social support and welfare. Raising the limit itself is unlikely to tilt anyone's calculus in a meaningful way, in my view."
YE LIU, SOCIOLOGIST, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
"In my view, it is a numbers game. In reality there is still a lack of concrete policy proposals in addressing three main obstacles that put families (in particular women) off from having more children."The three obstacles are childcare cost, employment discriminations against women of childbearing and child rearing years and a lack of safeguarding children's welfare in various industries and private childcare providers."