Shortage of women drives up the price of housing in China?
July 18, 2013 4 Comments
The Economist magazine titles the article “The price of men” but I think a more appropriate title is “The price of women.” The Chinese government’s one-child policy combined with Chinese culture’s strong preference for male children has produced an oversupply of men in China. Conversely, one could look at this as a shortage of women. Marriage is strongly encouraged in China and since polyandry generally isn’t practiced there an equal proportion of men and women in the proportion makes for happier campers.
A man is considered well qualified for marriage if he can afford to buy a house for his bride. Thus, with the shortage of brides one should expect the price of brides, and the associated house, to increase. And, that’s exactly what we see in the following chart. As the male-to-female sex ratio increases, indicating a shortage of women, the bidding war for brides drives of their price. The Economist suggests the high price of housing hurts women. However, if one thinks of women as valuable assets their increasing value should increase the incentive for husbands to take even better care of their brides.