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A Theory of the Competitive Saving Motive

Qingyuan Du and Shang-Jin Wei

No 252013, Working Papers from Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research

Abstract: Motivated by recent empirical work, this paper formalizes a theory of competitive savings - an arms race in household savings for mating competition that is made more fierce by an increase in the male-to-female ratio in the pre-marital cohort. Relative to the empirical work, the theory can clarify a number of important questions: What determines the strength of the savings response by males (or households with a son)? Can women (or households with a daughter) dis-save? What are the conditions under which aggregate savings would go up in response to a higher sex ratio? This theory can potentially help to understand the savings patterns in China, India, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other economies that have experienced a dramatic increase in the pre-marital sex ratio.

Keywords: Surplus Men; Savings Race; Trade Surplus; Global Imbalances (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F3 F4 J1 J7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 41 pages
Date: 2013-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-sea
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (21) Track citations by RSS feed

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Journal Article: A theory of the competitive saving motive (2013) Downloads
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