The Impact of Pre-marital Sex Ratios on Household Saving in Two Asian Countries: The Competitive Saving Motive Revisited
This paper estimates a household saving rate equation for India and Korea using long-term time series data for the 1975-2010 period, focusing in particular on the impact of the pre-marital sex ratio on the household saving rate. To summarize the main findings of the paper, it finds that the pre-marital sex (or gender) ratio (the ratio of males to females) has a significant impact on the household saving rate in both India and Korea, even after controlling for the usual suspects such as the aged and youth dependency ratios and income. It has a negative impact in India, where the bride’s side has to pay substantial dowries to the groom’s side at marriage, but a positive impact in Korea, where, as in China, the groom’s side has to bear a disproportionate share of marriage-related expenses including purchasing a house or condominium for the newlywed couple.
We thank Jiro Akita, Chetan Ghate, Pedro Gomis-Porqueras, Shikha Jha, Shoshana Grossbard, Tatsuo Hatta, Aziz Hayat, Yoshihiko Kadoya, Takamitsu Kurita, Jaewoo Lee, Seunghwan Leem, Debdulal Mallick, Keunkwan Ryu, Kwanho Shin, Xueli Tang, Hideki Toya, Shinsuke Uchida, Midori Wakabayashi, Junmin Wan, Shang-Jin Wei, Tansel Yilmazer, seminar participants at the Asian Growth Research Institute, Deakin University, Fukuoka University, the International Monetary Fund/Bank of Korea Conference on “Asia: Challenges of Stability and Growth,” Korea University, Nagoya City University, Seoul National University, Tohoku University, and the University of the Philippines, Diliman, two anonymous referees, and especially Yoko Niimi for their very helpful comments, Elenita Pura and Shiela Camingue-Romance for superb research assistance, and JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 15H01950, the Asian Growth Research Institute, and the Joint Usage/Research Center at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, for their financial support. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank, its Board of Directors, or the governments they represent. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.