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The Competitive Saving Motive: Concept, Evidence, and Implications

Publication | November 2015
The Competitive Saving Motive: Concept, Evidence, and Implications

This short essay surveys recent literature on the competitive saving motive and its broader economic implications.

We introduce the concept of competitive saving, i.e., saving to improve one’s status relative to other competitors for dating and marriage partners, and provide evidence of its existence across and within countries.  We argue that sex ratio imbalances have driven the competitive saving motive, and have partly accounted for sustained high savings rates in many Asian economies.