The Consequences of the “Missing Girls” of China

Posted: 8 Dec 2009

See all articles by Avraham Y. Ebenstein

Avraham Y. Ebenstein

Harvard University; University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics

Ethan Jennings Sharygin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2009

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.

Keywords: I18, J11, J12, J13, J26, N35

Suggested Citation

Ebenstein, Avraham Y. and Sharygin, Ethan Jennings, The Consequences of the “Missing Girls” of China (2009). The World Bank Economic Review, Vol. 23, Issue 3, pp. 399-425, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1519740 or http://dx.doi.org/lhp012

Avraham Y. Ebenstein (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1730 Cambridge Street, S408
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.demog.berkeley.edu/~ebenstei

Ethan Jennings Sharygin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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