Thinking of places with more men than women, China first comes to mind. But what about Florida? In Fort Lauderdale, there are 111.8 males for every 100 females.
in the following map, “Sex Ratio by County: 2010,” shades of blue indicate male gender ratio bias while the reds and rusts represent more women.
How Men React When They Outnumber Women
University of Minnesota researchers concluded that gender ratios affect financial behavior. In one study, when men were led to believe that they vastly outnumbered the female population, the amount they planned to save declined by 42 percent while their willingness to borrow spiked by 84 percent. Just using photos even seemed to change financial behavior. After looking at photos with more men than women, the men decided to take, for example, $35 tomorrow rather than wait 33 days for $45. Checking further, researchers found more credit card debt in communities with higher numbers of single men. Correspondingly, learning that men outnumbered them, women expected them to exhibit more lavish spending behavior.
The China correlation is even more interesting.
With more than three decades of China’s one child policy, a male bias has resulted in 120 men for every 100 females. Research has indicated though that Chinese men do not engage in conspicuous consumption to woo females. Quite the opposite. They save more.
But it is all cultural. In China, with a history of men paying a bride price, saving to get your girl is traditional. Consequently, Chinese men, doing their own version of conspicuous consumption, are not contradicting the University of Minnesota study.
With China recently announcing that it was easing single child restrictions, the impact on their male gender bias could have monetary repercussions.
Our Bottom Line: The Market
Explained by Nobel economics prize winner, Gary Becker (1930-2014), dating behavior is not necessarily about love and marriage. Instead think utility functions. People want to marry because they expect to “raise their utility level above what it would be were they to remain single.” To avoid remaining single, though, men and women need to cope with supply and demand. And that is where gender ratios influence the male quest to find a mate…and what they are willing to spend on an engagement ring.