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China's marriage market and upcoming challenges for elderly men

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  • Das Gupta, Monica
  • Ebenstein, Avraham
  • Sharygin, Ethan Jennings

Abstract

Fertility decline has fueled a sharp increase in the proportion of'missing girls'in China, so an increasing share of males will fail to marry, and will face old age without the support normally provided by wives and children. This paper shows that historically, China has had nearly-universal marriage for women and a very competitive market for men. Lower-educated men experience higher rates of bachelorhood while women favor men with better prospects, migrating if needed from poorer to wealthier areas. The authors examine the anticipated effects of this combination of bride shortage and hypergamy, for different regions of China. Their projections indicate that unmarried males will likely be concentrated in poorer provinces with low fiscal ability to provide social protection to their citizens. Such geographic concentration of unmarried males could be socially disruptive, and the paper’s findings suggest a need to expand the coverage of social protection programs financed substantially by the central government.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5351.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5351

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Keywords: Population Policies; Population&Development; Demographics; Gender and Law; Gender and Health;

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References

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  1. Hongmei Yi & Linxiu Zhang & Kim Singer & Scott Rozelle & Scott Atlas, 2009. "Health insurance and catastrophic illness: a report on the New Cooperative Medical System in rural China," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S2), pages S119-S127, July.
  2. Brandt, Loren & Siow, Aloysius & Vogel, Carl, 2009. "Large Demographic Shocks and Small Changes in the Marriage Market," IZA Discussion Papers 4243, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Monica Das Gupta & Woojin Chung & Li Shuzhuo, 2009. "Evidence for an Incipient Decline in Numbers of Missing Girls in China and India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 401-416.
  4. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2007. "Long-Term Effects Of The 1959-1961 China Famine: Mainland China and Hong Kong," NBER Working Papers 13384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Xin Meng & Robert G Gregory, . "Impact of Interupted Education on Earnings: The Educational Cost of the Chinese Cultural revolution," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 40, McMaster University.
  6. Adam Wagstaff & Winnie Yip & Magnus Lindelow & William C. Hsiao, 2009. "China's health system and its reform: a review of recent studies," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S2), pages S7-S23, July.
  7. Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junjian Yi & Junsen Zhang, 2013. "Sex Ratios and Crime: Evidence from China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1520-1534, December.
  8. Avraham Y. Ebenstein & Ethan Jennings Sharygin, 2009. "The Consequences of the "Missing Girls" of China," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 23(3), pages 399-425, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Quanbao Jiang & Shuzhuo Li & Marcus Feldman, 2011. "Demographic Consequences of Gender Discrimination in China: Simulation Analysis of Policy Options," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 619-638, August.
  2. Anukriti, S, 2014. "The Fertility-Sex Ratio Trade-off: Unintended Consequences of Financial Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 8044, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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