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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Chang, Simon & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2012. "The Economic Consequences of Excess Men: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Taiwan:," IFPRI discussion papers 1203, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1203
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    Cited by:

    1. Arnaud Dupuy, 2018. "Migration in China: to Work or to Wed?," CREA Discussion Paper Series 18-06, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    2. 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).
    3. 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).
    4. Chen, Xi, 2015. "Status Concern and Relative Deprivation in China: Measures, Empirical Evidence, and Economic and Policy Implications," IZA Discussion Papers 9519, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. 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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    Keywords

    Sex ratio; Entrepreneurship; Gender; Demography;

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