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The Oxford Companion to the Economics of China$
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Shenggen Fan, Ravi Kanbur, Shang-Jin Wei, and Xiaobo Zhang

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199678204

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199678204.001.0001

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High sex ratio in China

High sex ratio in China

Causes and consequences

Chapter:
(p.490) 81 High sex ratio in China
Source:
The Oxford Companion to the Economics of China
Author(s):

Hongbin Li

Meng Lingsheng

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199678204.003.0082

The population of China is characterized by a significant sex imbalance that favours males. This chapter reviews studies of the sex ratio in China. These show that the increase in the sex ratio at birth in China resulted from a combination of a preference for sons, a decrease in fertility induced by the One Child Policy, and the diffusion of sex selection technology. The chapter discusses the concept of the One Child Policy and other factors which may have contributed to the gender imbalance, for example the spread of ultrasound technology. The biased sex ratio can also cause adverse social consequences which can be seen in areas such as women’s welfare, the marriage market, the savings rate, entrepreneurial activity, and consequently GDP growth.

Keywords:   sons, daughters, children, gender preference

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