【主题】Long Live Confucius! The Persistent Effect of Confucianism on the Sex Ratio Imbalance in China
【摘要】The male-biased sex ratio imbalance draws lasting attention from researchers in distinct fields. We try to investigate this issue from a perspective of culture. We find that Confucianism, the cultural ideology that dominated Chinese people for almost 2000 years until the collapse of Qing dynasty (1636-1912), has a persistent and positive effect on the sex ratio imbalance in China. We use the distance to the nearest Zhu Xi Academy as an instrumental variable to identify the causal relationship of our finding. The potential channels through which Confucianism affects the sex ratio imbalance are also discussed. Specifically, Confucianism changes people’s perception of gender inequality, expands the gap between men’s and women's educational attainments, and strengthens the pattern of raising sons against aging, all leading to son preference and thus male-biased sex ratio imbalance. Our findings show that the long-term influence of Confucianism cannot be underestimated although it has not been the official ideology in China for more than one century.