From Missing Women to Too Many Men : Examining consequences of sex imbalance and approaches to understanding the phenomenon
Appears in the following Collection
- Økonomisk institutt 
AbstractThe topic of this thesis is the causes and effects of the observed male biased sex imbalance in China, with the motivation for the study being that equality between the sexes is a human right and that a surplus of bachelors may induce non-preferential outcomes in society.
First I consider a study by Nancy Qian from 2008 which claims that an exogenous shock to female-specific wages may reduce sex imbalance because females are then valued higher and/or have more bargaining power in a household. I first show that the authors predicted effect may be biased because treatment status is not necessarily exogenous. Secondly I examine treatment heterogeneity, in particular with respect to other policy variation. This is to highlight the importance of being critical of research results, as policy making are often based on these. Thirdly I examine consequences of sex imbalance empirically using the same method as Qian (2008), and find that the populations affected by the shock to female-specific earnings also tend to have populations with better health and children with better performance in Middle School. Finally I provide a theoretical discussion of other consequences that may be anticipated in societies with a surplus of males.