The Impact of Sex Ratios before Marriage on Household Saving in Two Asian Countries: The Competitive Saving Motive Revisited

Publication | August 2016

This paper estimates a household saving rate equation for India and the Republic of Korea using long-term time series data for 1975 to 2010, focusing in particular on the impact of the premarital sex ratio on the household saving rate.

It finds that the premarital gender ratio (the ratio of males to females) has a significant impact on the household saving rate in both India and the Republic of 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 the Republic of Korea, where, as in the People’s Republic of 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.


  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Theoretical Considerations
  • Data on Premarital Sex Ratios and Household Saving Rates in India and the Republic of Korea
  • Estimation Model
  • Data Sources
  • Estimation Results
  • Conclusions
  • References

Additional Details

  • Economics
  • Social development and protection
  • India
  • Korea, Republic of
  • WPS168312-2
  • 2313-6537 (Print)
  • 2313-6545 (e-ISSN)

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