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Brides for Sale: Cross-Border Marriages and Female Immigration

  • Kawaguchi, Daiji

    ()

    (RIETI, Hitotsubashi University)

  • Lee, Soohyung

    ()

    (University of Maryland)

Every year, a large number of women immigrate as brides from developing countries to developed countries in East Asia. This phenomenon virtually did not exist in the early 1990s, but foreign brides currently comprise 4 to 35 percent of newlyweds in these developed Asian countries. This paper argues that two factors account for this rapid increase in "bride importation": the rapid growth of women's educational attainment and a cultural norm that leads to a low net surplus of marriage for educated women. We provide empirical evidence supporting our theoretical model and its implications, using datasets from Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6458.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6458
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  1. Josh Angrist, 2002. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage And Labor Markets? Evidence From America'S Second Generation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038, August.
  2. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299, November.
  3. Helena Skyt Nielsen & Nina Smith & Aycan Celikaksoy, 2007. "The Effect of Marriage on Education of Immigrants: Evidence from a Policy Reform Restricting Spouse Import," Economics Working Papers 2007-07, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  4. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2011. "The Competitive Saving Motive: Evidence from Rising Sex Ratios and Savings Rates in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 511 - 564.
  5. Lena Edlund, 1999. "Son Preference, Sex Rations, and Marriage Patterns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1275-1304, December.
  6. Jeanne Lafortune, 2012. "Making Yourself Attractive: Pre-Marital Investments and the Returns to Education in the Marriage Market," Documentos de Trabajo 422, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  7. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 124-57, July.
  8. Simon Commander & Mari Kangasniemi & L. Alan Winters, 2004. "The Brain Drain: Curse or Boon? A Survey of the Literature," NBER Chapters, in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 235-278 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Iyigun, Murat & Walsh, Randall P., 2005. "Building the Family Nest: Pre-Marital Investments, Marriage Markets and Spousal Allocations," IZA Discussion Papers 1752, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  11. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  12. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert, 2007. "The American Family and Family Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 2715, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Siwan Anderson, 2003. "Why Dowry Payments Declined with Modernization in Europe but Are Rising in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 269-310, April.
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