The Effects of Sex Ratio Imbalance in China

Qing Li, University of Maryland

This paper examines the effects of sex ratio imbalance induced by the one-child policy in China on marriage market, labor market and intra-household bargaining power. Different from previous studies using crossectional data, this paper used China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) 1989-2009, an eight-wave panel dataset to identify the effects. To deal with the potential endogeneity problem of marriage market sex ratios, sex ratios at brith are constructed as an instrument.The results show that higher sex ratios had a large positive effect on the likelihood of female marriage, and a large negative effect on labor force participation of married women. The empirical results also suggest that as women become scarcer in the marriage market, they marry older and more educated men. Moreover, higher sex ratios also appear to increase female bargaining power within the household.

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Presented in Poster Session 2