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The Consequences of the "Missing Girls" of China

Author

Listed:
  • Avraham Y. Ebenstein
  • Ethan Jennings Sharygin

Abstract

In the wake of the one-child policy of 1979, China experienced an unprecedented rise in the sex ratio at birth (ratio of male to female births). In cohorts born between 1980 and 2000, there were 22 million more men than women. Some 10.4 percent of these additional men will fail to marry, based on simulations presented here that assess how different scenarios for the sex ratio at birth affect the probability of failure to marry in 21st century China. Three consequences of the high sex ratio and large numbers of unmarried men are discussed: the prevalence of prostitution and sexually transmitted infections, the economic and physical well-being of men who fail to marry, and China's ability to care for its elderly, with a particular focus on elderly males who fail to marry. Several policy options are suggested that could mitigate the negative consequences of the demographic squeeze. Copyright The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / the world bank . All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Avraham Y. Ebenstein & Ethan Jennings Sharygin, 2009. "The Consequences of the "Missing Girls" of China," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 23(3), pages 399-425, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:23:y:2009:i:3:p:399-425
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/wber/lhp012
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yao, Yuxin, 2017. "Essays on economics of language and family economics," Other publications TiSEM 0093bc8e-e869-4f87-8ff8-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Buvinic, Mayra & Lunde, Trine & Sinha, Nistha, 2010. "Investing in Gender Equality: Looking Ahead," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 22, pages 1-10, July.
    3. Chen, Xi, 2017. "Does Daughter Deficit Promote Parental Substance Use? Longitudinal Evidence on Smoking from Rural China," IZA Discussion Papers 10860, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Avraham Ebenstein, 2011. "Estimating a Dynamic Model of Sex Selection in China," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 783-811, May.
    5. repec:kap:jfamec:v:38:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10834-016-9506-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Scott South & Katherine Trent & Sunita Bose, 2012. "India’s ‘Missing Women’ and Men’s Sexual Risk Behavior," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(6), pages 777-795, December.
    7. Das Gupta, Monica & Ebenstein, Avraham & Sharygin, Ethan Jennings, 2010. "China's marriage market and upcoming challenges for elderly men," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5351, The World Bank.
    8. Zhang, Chuanchuan, 2012. "结婚年龄与婚姻的稳定性:来自断点回归的证据
      [Age at marriage and marital stability: evidence from a regression discontinuity design]
      ," MPRA Paper 38809, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Rafal Chomik & John Piggott, 2015. "Population Ageing and Social Security in Asia," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 10(2), pages 199-222, July.
    10. repec:eee:injoed:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:39-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Catherine Tucker & Jennifer Van Hook, 2013. "Surplus Chinese Men: Demographic Determinants of the Sex Ratio at Marriageable Ages in China," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 39(2), pages 209-229, June.
    12. Mayra Buvinic & Trine Lunde & Nistha Sinha, 2010. "Investing in Gender Equality : Looking Ahead," World Bank Other Operational Studies 10168, The World Bank.
    13. Chen, Xi, 2017. "Do Skewed Sex Ratios Among Children Promote Parental Smoking? Longitudinal Evidence from Rural China," GLO Discussion Paper Series 159, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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