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The Economic Consequences of Excess Men: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Taiwan:

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  • Chang, Simon
  • Zhang, Xiaobo

Abstract

As sex ratio imbalances have become a problem in an increasing number of countries, it is important to understand their consequences. With the defeat of the Kuomintang Party in China, more than one million soldiers and civilians, mainly young males, retreated to Taiwan in the late 1940s. Initially, the soldiers from mainland China were not allowed to marry. The ban was relaxed in 1959, however, suddenly flooding the marriage market with a large number of eligible bachelors. The operational ratio of males to females at marriageable age peaked at nearly 1.2 in the 1960s. Using data from multiple sources, we find that during times of high marriage competition, young men are more likely to become entrepreneurs, work longer hours, save more, and amass more assets. The findings highlight the important role of biological forces in shaping human economic behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 1203.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1203

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Keywords: Sex ratio; Entrepreneurship; Gender; Demography;

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References

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  1. Robert E Lucas, 1999. "Making a Miracle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2101, David K. Levine.
  2. Rao, Vijayendra, 1993. "The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 666-77, August.
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  5. Hopkins, Ed & Kornienko, Tatiana, 2008. "Which Inequality? The Inequality of Endowments Versus the Inequality of Rewards," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-13, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
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  7. Hongbin LI & Hui ZHENG, 2009. "Ultrasonography and Sex Ratios in China," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 4(1), pages 121-137.
  8. Avraham Ebenstein, 2010. "The "Missing Girls" of China and the Unintended Consequences of the One Child Policy," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
  9. Edlund, Lena & Li, Hongbin & Yi, Junjian & Zhang, Junsen, 2007. "Sex Ratios and Crime: Evidence from China’s One-Child Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 3214, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Weiss, Yoram & Yi, Junjian & Zhang, Junsen, 2013. "Hypergamy, Cross-Boundary Marriages, and Family Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 7293, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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