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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol
Title China's marriage market and upcoming challenges for elderly men
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
URL http://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=909090025124093081077068089072125086034052029048028062025​0270280480130100441151231240240640040060930150080850051000041210671041210640720670980261081080650280​99084011014103093068107068120000&EXT=pdf
Fertility decline has fueled a sharp increase in the
proportion of ‘missing girls’ in China, so an increasing
share of males will fail to marry, and will face old age
without the support normally provided by wives and
children. This paper shows that historically, China has
had nearly-universal marriage for women and a very
competitive market for men. Lower-educated men
experience higher rates of bachelorhood while women
favor men with better prospects, migrating if needed
from poorer to wealthier areas. The authors examine theanticipated effects of this combination of bride shortage
and hypergamy, for different regions of China. Their
projections indicate that unmarried males will likely
be concentrated in poorer provinces with low fiscal
ability to provide social protection to their citizens. Such
geographic concentration of unmarried males could be
socially disruptive, and the paper’s findings suggest a need
to expand the coverage of social protection programs
financed substantially by the central government

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