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A theory of the competitive saving motive

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  • Du, Qingyuan
  • Wei, Shang-Jin

Abstract

Motivated by recent empirical work, this paper formalizes a theory of competitive savings — an arms race in household savings for mating competition that is made more fierce by an increase in the male-to-female ratio in the pre-marital cohort. Relative to the empirical work, the theory can clarify a number of important questions: What determines the strength of the savings response by males (or households with a son)? Can women (or households with a daughter) dis-save? What are the conditions under which aggregate savings would go up in response to a higher sex ratio? This theory can potentially help to understand the savings patterns in China, India, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other economies that have experienced a dramatic increase in the pre-marital sex ratio.

Suggested Citation

  • Du, Qingyuan & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2013. "A theory of the competitive saving motive," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 275-289.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:91:y:2013:i:2:p:275-289
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2013.09.003
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    1. Las mujeres desaparecidas
      by Luis Abenza in Politikon on 2014-11-25 14:01:10

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    Cited by:

    1. Du, Qingyuan & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2016. "A Darwinian perspective on “exchange rate undervaluation”," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 111-138.
    2. Charles Yuji Horioka & Akiko Terada-Hagiwara, 2017. "The impact of sex ratios before marriage on household saving in two Asian countries: The competitive saving motive revisited," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 739-757, September.
    3. Han, Xuehui & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2017. "Re-examining the middle-income trap hypothesis (MITH): What to reject and what to revive?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(PA), pages 41-61.
    4. Shoshana GROSSBARD, 2015. "Sex Ratios, Polygyny, and the Value of Women in Marriage - A Beckerian Approach," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 13-25, March.
    5. Shenggen Fan & Ravi Kanbur & Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2013. "The Economics of China: Successes and Challenges," NBER Working Papers 19648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Irina Georgescu & Adolfo CristóbalCampoamor & Ana Mª LuciaCasademunt, 2017. "A Possibilistic and Probabilistic Approach to Precautionary Saving," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 64(3), pages 273-295, June.
    7. Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül ; Zheng, Yu, 2016. "The Price of Growth: Consumption Insurance in China 1989-2009," Economics Working Papers ECO2016/13, European University Institute.
    8. Charles Yuji Horioka & Akiko Terada-Hagiwara, 2016. "The Impact of Pre-marital Sex Ratios on Household Saving in Two Asian Countries: The Competitive Saving Motive Revisited," ISER Discussion Paper 0975, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    9. Barua, Rashmi & Goel, Prarthna & Sane, Renuka, 2017. "The Effect of Age-Specific Sex Ratios on Crime: Instrumental Variable Estimates from India," Working Papers 17/214, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    10. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:169-186 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Qingyuan Du & Shang Jin Wei, 2015. "A Darwinian Perspective on “Exchange Rate Undervaluationâ€," Working Papers id:7597, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Surplus men; Savings race; Trade surplus; Global imbalances;

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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