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Authors: Xiong, Wanru
Advisors: Hendi, Arun
Contributors: Population Studies Department
Keywords: China
sex ratio
Subjects: Demography
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation examines three topics related to population sex ratio imbalances in China. Chapter I focuses on variations in sex ratios across regions, age, and time, and Chapters II and III on variations across regions and socioeconomic status.Chapter I proposes a self-corrective mechanism to describe dynamics of regional sex ratios at birth and sex ratios at prime marriageable ages. The mechanism consists of two pathways. First, internal migration redistributes men and women across regions, thus reducing highly skewed regional sex ratios at prime marriageable ages. Second, a competitive marriage market for men reduces incentives for son-biased sex selection, thus lowering sex ratios at birth. Empirical analyses using prefectural-level sex ratios in four population censuses from 1982 to 2010 are consistent with the mechanism, suggesting that regional sex ratios may be subject to homeostatic forces within the population system. Chapter II identifies educational and spatial mismatches in the marriage market. Using census samples from 2000 to 2015, I quantify individual marriage prospects in spatially and socially defined local marriage markets using availability ratios. Results show that the educational mismatch caused by the incompatibility between educational expansions and social norms of female educational hypergamy makes marrying difficult for the least-educated men and the most-educated women. Internal migration alleviates part of the spatial mismatch arising from regional differences in sex ratios at birth but generates a spatial mismatch because economic opportunities and marriage prospects are not concentrated in the same places for men. Chapter III investigates whether a shortage of marriageable women induces trafficking of women for forced marriage, which is a common narrative in public discourse. I assemble a dataset of 1,215 trafficking transactions of women for forced marriage from 2010 to 2018 using court documents. My analysis suggests that the trafficking of women is not a direct consequence of local shortages of marriageable women. The fundamental causes are instead entrenched patriarchal values as indicated by a high local sex ratio at birth, sex-specific internal migration, and the marriage squeeze endured by socially marginalized men in the context of a shortage of women in the population.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Population Studies

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