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Consequences of war: Japan’s demographic transition and the marriage market

Kota Ogasawara () and Mizuki Komura
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Kota Ogasawara: Tokyo Institute of Technology

Journal of Population Economics, 2022, vol. 35, issue 3, No 8, 1037-1069

Abstract: Abstract This study explores the effects of imbalances in the sex ratio on both the quantity and the quality of children, with a focus on changes in intra-household bargaining power. We first present a theoretical model of intra-household bargaining in the presence of conflicting family goals within a couple, and show that male scarcity (a decrease in the male-to-female sex ratio) induces an increase in the number of children and a decrease in the quality of children. Second, using the impact of World War II on the sex ratio as a quasi-natural experiment, we establish empirically that the decrease in the male-to-female sex ratio in World War II contributed to a smaller decline in fertility and child mortality rates in postwar Japan. In particular, the fertility rate would have fallen by an additional 12% and the child mortality rate by an additional 13% between 1948 and 1970 absent the decrease in the sex ratio.

Keywords: Quantity-quality trade-off of children; Bargaining power; Marriage market; Sex ratio (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J11 J12 J13 J16 N15 N35 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s00148-021-00826-5

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:35:y:2022:i:3:d:10.1007_s00148-021-00826-5