To what extent is the Chinese housing boom driven by competition in the marriage market?

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Colleges, School and Institutes


We use the 2011 and 2013 waves of the China Household Finance Survey (CHFS) to study the extent to which the acquisition of multiple houses is determined by the presence of male children in the family. We conjecture that, as a result of the very high sex ratio which can be observed in China following the one child policy, Chinese families who have a son may want to acquire additional dwellings to enhance the marriage chances of their son. In support of this argument, we find that families with male children aged 25 or older are most likely to acquire additional houses. This effect is highest in regions characterised by higher sex ratios, especially in rural areas.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2020


  • China, Children’s gender, Acquisition of multiple dwellings, Sex ratios