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China's Gender Imbalance and its Economic Performance

  • Jane Golley

    (Centre for China in the World Australian National University)

  • Rod Tyers

    (Business School, University of Western Australia and Research School of Economics Australian National University)

Chinese GDP growth faces rising handicaps that include the slowdown and eventual contraction of its labour force, a complication of which is its rising sex ratio at birth. The undesirable consequences of the resulting gender imbalance include excessive saving as families with boys compete to match their sons with scarce girls, trafficking in women and rising disaffection and crime amongst the low-skill male population. These are reviewed and analysed using a dynamic model of both economic and demographic behaviour. The results show that the proportion of unmatched low-skill males of reproductive age could be as high as one in four by 2030, with numbers too large for female immigration to be a solution. Policies to rebalance the sex ratio at birth will take decades to reduce the sex ratio at reproductive age and any associated allowance of higher fertility would slow growth in real per capita income. Yet the results suggest that the beneficial effects of reduced male disaffection and crime could outweigh the losses from reduced saving and higher population.

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File URL: http://www.business.uwa.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/2157986/12-10-Chinas-Gender-Imbalance-and-its-Economic-Performance.pdf
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Paper provided by The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion / Working Papers with number 12-10.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uwa:wpaper:12-10
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Web page: http://www.business.uwa.edu.au/school/disciplines/economics

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  1. Qingyuan Du & Shang-Jin Wei, 2011. "A Darwinian Perspective on "Exchange Rate Undervaluation"," NBER Working Papers 16788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Charles Yuji Horioka & Akiko Terada-Hagiwara, 2011. "The Determinants and Long-term Projections of Saving Rates in Developing Asia," NBER Working Papers 17581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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