Bride Drain: An unintended consequence of China's urban-rural divide
Lei Meng, Minqiang Zhao
Labour Economics Volume 58, June 2019, Pages 69-80
#002403 20190415 (published) Views:1561
This paper studies the impact of rural-urban migration on rural marriage market outcomes within China's institutional and cultural context. Using self-collected and commonly used survey data, as well as Population Census, we find that community-level rural female migration produces a bride drain effect in the rural marriage market: it exerts a negative impact on the marriage likelihood of rural men in addition to the traditional channel of sex ratio imbalance. We find no evidence for an equivalent groom drain effect: the increase in men's migration rate at community level has no negative effect on the marriage likelihood of rural women. Instrumental variable estimation is used to address the endogeneity concern. Our results suggest that China's urban-rural divide has an unintended, long-lasting consequence.
JEL-Codes: J12;J16;J61
Keywords: Marriage;Migration;Sex ratios;Bride drain

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