Shortage of women drives up the price of housing in China?

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.

About Mike
A resident of the “30 square miles surrounded by reality,” I spend most of my time teaching economics and statistics to undergraduate students. I enjoy, naturally, economics and business, but also science (I was once an astronomical observatory assistant), politics, photography, food, travel and sports. Madison has grown quite a bit since 1978 when Governor Lee Dreyfus made that remark. According to Wikipedia, Madison is 67.3 square miles of land and 16 square miles of water. Visit for one of my favorite views of the isthmus. Or, why not come visit us!

4 Responses to Shortage of women drives up the price of housing in China?

  1. I love that you say men should take better care of their brides! :)

    • Mike says:

      :) Indeed they should. Who throws a diamond into the mud and walks on it?

      • :)

  2. Pingback: China’s marriage market: The hypergamous Chinese | The Economist « Dr Alf's Blog

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