Why are so few educated Asian women marrying?

by on December 9, 2012 at 2:00 am in Economics | Permalink

Here is the job market paper from Jisoo Hwang, on the market this year from Harvard University.  The title is “Housewife, “Gold Miss,” and Equal: The Evolution of Educated Women’s Role in Asia and the U.S. ” and here is the abstract:

Abstract: The fraction of U.S. college graduate women who ever marry has increased relative to less educated women since the mid-1970s. In contrast, college graduate women in developed Asian countries have had decreased rates of marriage, so much so that the term “Gold Misses” has been coined to describe them. This paper argues that the interaction of rapid economic growth in Asia combined with the intergenerational transmission of gender attitudes causes the “Gold Miss” phenomenon. Economic growth has increased the supply of college graduate women, but men’s preference for their wives’ household services has diminished less rapidly and is slowed by women’s role in their mothers’ generation. Using a dynamic model, I show that a large positive wage shock produces a greater mismatch between educated women and men in the marriage market than would gradual wage growth. I test the implications of the model using three data sets: the Japanese General Social Survey, the American Time Use Survey, and the U.S. Census and American Community Survey. Using the Japanese data, I find a positive relationship between a mother’s education (and employment) and her son’s gender attitudes. In the U.S., time spent on household chores among Asian women is inversely related to the female labor force participation rate in husband’s country of origin. Lastly, college graduate Korean and Japanese women in the U.S. have greater options in the marriage market. They are more likely to marry Americans than Korean and Japanese men do, and this gender gap is larger among the foreign born than the U.S. born.

Ray Lopez December 9, 2012 at 3:31 am

Can you please translate to Cowen speak? My guess: “despite the shortage of girls to boys in China, the reluctance of educated Chinese women to marry uneducated Chinese peasant men, and their reluctance to marry foreigners, means they stay on the shelf unmarried”. Doh!

Rahul December 9, 2012 at 9:20 am

Where exactly do Chinese peasants enter the picture? The paper doesn’t even mention China.

John Thacker December 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm

The paper is saying that in Japan and Korea, women have made a lot of advances in education and opportunities, but when they get married they’re still expected to sacrifice their career and hobbies for housework and taking care of family, far greater than in the USA. So they don’t marry, or, if in the USA, marry American men with more equal views about marriage and the division of labor rather than those from their home countries.

It’s an odd combination of greater opportunities for single women combined with much less change in expectations once they marry that leads them not to marry.

For all its faults, the USA seems to have dealt with this better than Japan and Korea.

Hazel Meade December 10, 2012 at 11:43 am

This should be excellent news for all those Western guys with Asian girl fetishes.

David December 12, 2012 at 7:28 am

Don’t be so sure! There’s a lot of racist noise being made about ‘Yellow Fever’ from angry, bitter Asian men.

The SWPL(because let’s face it, the most likely pro-Asian white men are SWPL organic tea-drinking liberals) men are not going to be pleased, but they are so effete so that they’ll be steamrolled by the more racist Asian men, who, by virtue of their minority status, can get away with a lot more sexual nativism, than, say, a white guy attacking interracial relationships between white women and non-white men.

Statspotting December 9, 2012 at 3:45 am
Jacob December 9, 2012 at 4:18 am

Female education and economic development are like antibiotics against human reproduction. But the fact that you’re successfully committing genocide against a huge portion of humanity blinds you to the fact that you’re also selecting for strains of humanity that will find ways of more efficiently turning wealth into an exponential growth of their babies. That optimum appears to involve lowering the age of female puberty and increasing the rate of de facto transfer payments to support their offspring. The idea that “property rights” are the answer must take into account the political dynamics of the recent election as a warning: Liberal democracy has a _strong_ tendency to serve the most reproductive.

A female that pumps out 1 child a year from age 8 until age 38 has a 30 to 1 gain over those 38 years. That means an effective doubling time of under 4 years. Many of us may live to see this new breed of “human” become a dominant demography.

The “demographic transition” fantasy is like the fantasy that we can over-use antibiotics without developing resistant strains of highly virulent bacteria.

Mike in Qingdao December 9, 2012 at 5:29 am

+1

affenkopf December 9, 2012 at 7:13 am

Female education and economic development are like antibiotics against human reproduction.

Counter example: France.

Millian December 9, 2012 at 7:33 am

There is no point in trying to reason here. The conservatives on MR comment section won’t be happy until the US fertility rate is closer to Niger than Neuilly.

“pump out” tells you all you need to know about the attitudes to women here.

Claudia December 9, 2012 at 8:03 am

Well there’s another faction of the commenters that is beloved of the “pump and dump” terminology. Could always be worse…

Oh but I might still agree with Jason’s initial thesis. More educated women are healthier and have healthier children. Lower infant/child and maternal mortality means lower average birth rates are necessary. But honestly I don’t understand the rest of his argument.

Claudia December 9, 2012 at 8:05 am

Typo, should say Jacob, not Jason.

Careless December 9, 2012 at 10:57 am

Erm… poor, uneducated women have less healthy kids, but they’re still doubling up or more the reproductive rate of women with BAs in this country. We just don’t let kids die in large numbers. And you know that, so what’s your point?

The rest of his point appears to be that, in a time and place like ours where we don’t let kids die, reproducing as rapidly as possible will be selected for. Now, he’s absurdly wrong about the time frame it would take to get the kind of change he’s talking about, but the point isn’t wrong in general.

JWatts December 9, 2012 at 8:51 am

“The conservatives on MR comment section won’t be happy until the US fertility rate is closer to Niger than Neuilly.”

That doesn’t seem remotely true.

Peter December 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

The conservatives on MR comment section won’t be happy until the US fertility rate is closer to Niger than Neuilly.

Actually, it should read:
The conservatives on MR comment section won’t be happy until the US high-IQ white fertility rate is closer to Niger than Neuilly.

Nyongesa December 11, 2012 at 12:58 am

True Dat

Hazel Meade December 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm

The conservatives on MR comment section won’t be happy until the US fertility rate is closer to Niger than Neuilly.

I read OPs comment as being more inclined to favor LOWERING the fertility rate of poor people on welfare than the reverse.
OP’s comment is that by supporting transfer payments to poor people that have a lot of babies we’re effectively outpopulating and out-reproducing the better educated and better developed population.

Careless December 9, 2012 at 11:02 am

What? France has basically replacement level fertility. Anyone ever seen data splitting it by education level? Another reason to hate the french: their intentionally bad demographic data

Randy McDonald December 9, 2012 at 11:13 am

Intentionally? How?

Careless December 9, 2012 at 11:48 am

It’s illegal for the state to collect some types of data there. Ethnicity and race, at least

I have no reason to think it’s illegal to check by education levels, but I’ll keep taking shots at the French as long as they keep speaking French.

Roy December 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Think about how fantastic that lack of data is politically.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if our political and legal system lacked this data?

France certainly benefits.

Matt December 9, 2012 at 7:35 am

Make general metrics of education and development, make metrics of female education and development, see what independent contribution each of these makes to human reproductive rate.

Randy McDonald December 9, 2012 at 9:51 am

They might be antibiotics against human reproduction in countries which allow women enough self-determination to be autonomous actors but don’t bother changing their social mores to allow women to combine family and work. Maybe.

“But the fact that you’re successfully committing genocide against a huge portion of humanity”

Who is committing genocide against who?

Rahul December 9, 2012 at 11:21 am

Female education and economic development are like antibiotics against human reproduction.

So what? Why is high fertility by itself a goal to strive for?

Maybe, the additional education and development were worth the drop in fertility.

ivvenalis December 9, 2012 at 2:37 pm

High fertility isn’t a goal to strive for. Avoiding significant differential fertility between the smartest and best educated and the lumpenproletariat in favor of the latter ought to be.

Rahul December 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Agreed. But I’d rather work on the other term in your equation.

John Thacker December 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm

High fertility by itself is not a goal, but it is not an option to preserve Social Security and Medicare as is- or as it is in nearly all wealthy countries – without higher fertility. Even immigration doesn’t solve the problem, and in any case I don’t think mass Mexican immigration will be possible as Mexico continues to become modern and wealthy itself.

We have a system that expects high fertility. If we don’t have it, then the bill will come due. Changing to a system where the elderly are the responsibility of their own children alone, for example, would be a wrenching change and would hurt some of the autonomy people like about the current system.

Randy McDonald December 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm

“A female that pumps out 1 child a year from age 8 until age 38 has a 30 to 1 gain over those 38 years. That means an effective doubling time of under 4 years. Many of us may live to see this new breed of “human” become a dominant demography.”

It’s fair to ask where such real-world examples actually exist. Such a very high birth rate is without precedent even among the highest-fertility populations in the world, like Amish or Hutterites.

Nyongesa December 11, 2012 at 1:05 am

“selecting for strains of humanity”….. Eugenicists would cheer you on brother.

Jacob December 9, 2012 at 4:34 am

It’s really basic economics:

The iron law of wages states that in a labor market wages will fall to the cost of labor’s subsistence. The problem is that the definition of “subsistence” has changed due to the advent of birth control and feminism. “Subsistence” used to, by implication, include reproduction — so you labor costs simply could not decrease below what it cost to obtain a fertile female and keep her happy with her circumstances. With feminism and birth control, the demand for fertile women has gone up — not as reproducers, but as employees. This at the same time land prices, hence home prices, have gone through the roof. This guts a fundamental factor of human happiness for all but those rich enough, or sexist enough (say, Islamics, Orthodox Jews, Mexicans, Hindus and some evangelicals) to be able to afford to keep a woman at home and raise the children.

The iron law of wages is now destroying the population.

Oh, and don’t give me this “demographic transition” garbage. The population of the US has not decreased, nor that of any of the other countries supposedly undergoing the “demographic transition”. The “demographic transition” is nothing but the replacement of some population by others — red in tooth and claw.

affenkopf December 9, 2012 at 7:17 am

It this were true all modern, industrialized economies would have low, below replacement-level birth rates. Some have higher birth rates (even if you subtract higher birth rates of immigrants).

Randy McDonald December 9, 2012 at 9:53 am

You recognize, right, that fertility rates in Mexico have fallen to replacement levels, that fertility rates in a whole variety of large and migrant-sending Muslim-majority countries (Algeria, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia) have fallen suit, et cetera?

Hazel Meade December 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm

The iron law of wages states that in a labor market wages will fall to the cost of labor’s subsistence.

Where is that law written? The Book of Marx?

TGGP December 11, 2012 at 12:15 am

LaSalle, though it’s also credited to Malthus:and sometimes Ricardo.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_wages

Jacob December 9, 2012 at 4:35 am

It’s really basic economics:

The iron law of wages states that in a labor market wages will fall to the cost of labor’s subsistence. The problem is that the definition of “subsistence” has changed due to the advent of birth control and feminism. “Subsistence” used to, by implication, include reproduction — so you labor costs simply could not decrease below what it cost to obtain a fertile female and keep her happy with her circumstances. With feminism and birth control, the demand for fertile women has gone up — not as reproducers, but as employees. This at the same time land prices, hence home prices, have gone through the roof. This guts a fundamental factor of human happiness for all but those rich enough, or sexist enough (say, Islamics, Orthodox Jews, Mexicans, Hindus and some evangelicals) to be able to afford to keep a woman at home and raise the children.

The iron law of wages is now destroying the population.

Oh, and this has nothing to do with the “demographic transition”. The population of the US has not decreased, nor that of any of the other countries supposedly undergoing the “demographic transition”. The “demographic transition” is nothing but the replacement of some population by others — red in tooth and claw.

Jacob December 9, 2012 at 4:39 am

Note that the modern critique of the Iron Law of Wages ignores that the ground truth of the so-called “demographic transition” is nothing more than replacement of the earlier developing populations by the later developing populations. This is because — in the context of the open borders/global labor arbitrage theocracy combined with birth control technology — the definition of “subsistence wages” no longer includes the high cost of child rearing in more developed nations. The demographic collapse of earlier developing populations is not having the upward pressure on wages among those populations that modern economists predict.

Modern economic theory is genocide.

Someone from the other side December 9, 2012 at 6:25 am

I always get rather cautious when people use Japanese data to extrapolate to the rest of Asia… (just as bad: using Singapore as proxy for SE Asia or HK as proxy for China)

commetariette December 9, 2012 at 7:14 am

Actually, similar phenomena is seen in Sweden:

Swedish women who marry internationally (outside other Nordic countries) are most likely to marry men from north America and northern Europe. Swedish men who marry internationally are most likely to marry women from Thailand (a popular vacation destination), eastern Europe, and ex-Yugoslavia.

Like Japanese and Korean women who are more likely to marry American men, Swedish women seem to marry “up” to men from cultures that are more (or comparably) gender progressive. Men marry “down” to women from less developed countries and/or more traditional cultures.

Matt December 9, 2012 at 7:40 am

I’d love to see a stat on this. I think Swedish men are most likely to marry West Europeans or American women, far more than any of your mentioned groups.

Although the likely fraction of Swedish men who use their resources to enter into marriages with women from (poor) countries where men are “breadwinners” seems likely to be higher than the number of women who do so (there aren’t really any female breadwinner countries).

Ray Lopez December 9, 2012 at 7:46 am

Matt I think you’re probably right but commet* is also correct: Udon Thani, Thailand is a popular Swede destination for mixed race couples. I’ve seen tall, blonde handsome athletic husband with short dark rather fat and IMO plain looking Thai wife, with kids, and insofar as I can tell happily married. If I was him I’d have gone for a showgirl, but maybe that’s sexist or something.

Rahul December 9, 2012 at 7:49 am

I don’t think the men marry “down” by choice. Though then the question is why doesn’t the comparable cohort of Swedish women marry “down”.

My intuition agrees with you that it is easier for women to marry “up” than men; but what happens then to the women in the “uppermost” nations? Do the “uppermost” nations have a glut of single women and the bottom a glut of single men?

John Thacker December 9, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I think that some men do seek out pre-feminist attitudes and women from those countries. If they are somewhat more enlightened and wealthy than men from those countries, they can be very successful in the marriage market, more so than at home.

Nyongesa December 11, 2012 at 1:14 am

You guys are missing the point, with women from developing countries, you get the best of both worlds, you get educated women with relatively more pre-feminist attitudes. i.e.

Paul December 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Why do you call it marrying down in the case of the men?

axa December 9, 2012 at 6:37 am

It seems that Asian Tigers developed economically so fast that morals & gender atittudes are not up-to-date with present conditions.

A uthors conclusions are: “Men are still accustomed to women being housewives as in their mothers’ generation and have preference for wives’ household services. Thus, some educated women choose to remain single rather than marry “traditional” men.” Also: “Men in Japan who had working or college graduate mothers during childhood have more egalitarian views regarding gender roles, and are more likely to have working wives”. And this quote in the article is important too: “Even if mothers do not teach specific values to their children, boys are likely to emulate their parents or other role models when they form their own families.”

So, for Japanese & Korean not marrying and having babies can be attributed to men giving more value to “wife-mom” who cooks and do laundry compared to “wife-partner” whom you share life, enjoy sex, etc. Thus, men decide over marriage and they are not marrying educated women cause they don’t fit their needs.

But, in the end women decide over reproduction and they also display the previous generation values when they decide not having children. Japanese women have not discovered that you don’t need to be married to have children “Cohabitation is rare and out-of-wedlock childbirths make up less than 2 percent of total childbirths in Korea and Japan” VS “In US in 2011, as it has been for four consecutive years, more than four in ten births (41 percent) were to unmarried women. ” http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/?q=node/196

Hahahhaah, maybe all the indecency, collapse of traditional family and social decay in the US is what mantains child birth rate healthy under present economic conditions. Traditional family values are against population growth, at least in Japan.

analysand December 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

+1

Rahul December 9, 2012 at 8:37 am

Has the paper accounted for the differences in working environments? American firms offer flex-hours, child-care and other workarounds far more relaxed than any Asian firm offers. I suspect protection against discrimination or pregnancy-related firing is lot weaker in Asia too.

Steve December 9, 2012 at 9:01 am

What axa says. Note in the U.S. you see many Asian women married to non-Asian men. You see many fewer of Asian men married to non-Asian women. The non-Asian women aren’t going to put up with it.

Furthermore, I think one attraction of Asian women to non-Asian men is the more liberal attitudes toward sex — Asian women consider it more a bodily function to be performed regularly as the norm, and not just a romantic special occasion. Also attractive to non-Asian men is that older Asian women appear about 10-20 years younger compared to non-Asian women the same age.

Peter December 9, 2012 at 11:03 am

Furthermore, I think one attraction of Asian women to non-Asian men is the more liberal attitudes toward sex — Asian women consider it more a bodily function to be performed regularly as the norm, and not just a romantic special occasion. Also attractive to non-Asian men is that older Asian women appear about 10-20 years younger compared to non-Asian women the same age.

Another thing is that Asian women seem to be more willing than white women to accept Beta men.

Adam December 12, 2012 at 7:38 am

Or… maybe your frat boy party defition of ‘beta’ differs from theirs. In other words: a more traditional view of masculinity(responsiblity, ability to care and provide for his family, drive and ambition, non-alcoholic, non-drug/crime prone) may be their lens of the situation.

WTF December 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Tyler, do you screen any of these comments? If nothing else for the lack of citations.

Thor December 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm

“The non-Asian women aren’t going to put up with it.”

Really? What will they do?

uffy December 10, 2012 at 5:22 am

Not get married.

Careless December 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm

A dark horse winner for craziest comment in the thread. I especially like the suggestion that you need to wine and dine and romance Asian men to get them to put out.

anonymous... December 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Crazy or not, the comment pontificates about the attitudes of:
1) non-Asian men
2) Asian women
3) non-Asian women.
Asian men are mentioned only insofar as it is alleged that non-Asian women consider them un-put-up-withable. Nothing is asserted about their own attitudes toward anything.

-1 for reading comprehension.

Careless December 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm

” I think one attraction of Asian women to non-Asian men is the more liberal attitudes toward sex — Asian women consider it more a bodily function to be performed regularly as the norm, and not just a romantic special occasion. ”

Yes, you get -1 to reading comprehension. He’s very, very, very clearly contrasting Asian women to Asian men there.

TGGP December 11, 2012 at 12:17 am

Are you being sarcastic? The sentence immediately afterward makes clear he is contrasting Asian women with non-Asian women.

anonymous... December 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm

And now -2. Read it again, third time’s the charm.

Careless December 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm

He’s talking about the attraction of Asian women to non-asian men. Other women don’t come into the picture.

liberalarts December 9, 2012 at 9:11 am

Isn’t the driving issue in Japan that even professional women, once they marry, are expected to cook dinner for their husbands, raise the children and generally shelve their career ambitions in a way that is much less negotiable than in America. It may be enforced by their parents, as well. Without marriage, they have many more options. So, Japanese women face a discrete choice regarding marriage that American women don’t face. I didn’t read the paper, but that is the narrative that I have always heard, and it doesn’t sound incompatible with the abstract.

Ed December 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

Could someone explain to me what is prompting all this worry by people on the right over evidence of a baby bust. Is the world short of people?

go December 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

The world’s not short of people, but it’s starting to get short of young people, who are the ones who drive progress and put in the work required to support the old.

Rahul December 9, 2012 at 11:05 am

Just because we created a glut of old people do we have to perpetuate for ever the young needed to support them?

Keith December 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm

What is the alternative? Who will take care of the old?

DW December 10, 2012 at 9:27 am

Robots.

The Anti-Gnostic December 9, 2012 at 10:03 am

Because it’s a baby bust of higher-g whites and Asians. In the modern welfare state, higher-g individuals look at the costs imposed by taxes, barriers to upward mobility, including the price of white school districts/private schools, and delay or limit childbearing, while lower IQ individuals reproduce more and earlier, subsidized by the taxes extracted from the former group. IOW, the welfare state is rewarding r-selection reproductive strategies at the expense of groups practicing K-selection reproductive strategies. This doesn’t end well.

Peter December 9, 2012 at 11:06 am

IOW, the welfare state is rewarding r-selection reproductive strategies at the expense of groups practicing K-selection reproductive strategies. This doesn’t end well.

Given that China is one of the countries under discussion, it should be noted that China was an unequivocal champion of r-selection reproduction until comparatively recent times.

Daniel December 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm

No, that isn’t true. You’re confusing Malthusian limits with r-selection. Before industrialization, all populations lived at the Malthusian limit. This doesn’t mean that you’re under r-selection.

There is evidence that those with greater wealth, means, skills, etc. reproduced more than the poor in medieval China:
http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2011/02/sociobiological-implications-of.html

uffy December 10, 2012 at 5:29 am

Even if we take your points to be true they offer nothing other than a potential way to further limit birth rates. Richer women have fewer children and fewer subsidies to poorer women isn’t going to change this.

John Thacker December 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Our Social Security and Medicare, and similar programs in all developed countries, are set around old people being taken care of by the collective young people of everyone else, not just their own. If fertility continues to drop, the whole system falls apart in a crash. It increasingly looks like immigration, which I favor, won’t work to solve it. It is a serious issue.

Some on the right are okay with ending Social Security and Medicare as we know them, and don’t worry, but others do worry.

People on the Left ought to be worried, if they want to preserve the system and care about the future. It seems like they prefer to ignore reality and wish that one set of preferences didn’t lead to an unhappy consequence, though.

The Anti-Gnostic December 10, 2012 at 8:32 am

Immigration doesn’t work because immigrants get old and sick too, not to mention the effects of chain migration to get old relatives from back home on the take as well. And I question the willingness of young, working immigrants to shoulder the tax burden necessary to pay the nursing home bills for all the old, retired strangers at this point. As you seem to recognize, the real problem is a system perpetually dependent on an enlarging tax base.

anonymous... December 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I wonder if we could imagine some alternate universe where children get large predictable payments of money straight from the government just for existing, while old people have to rely on financial sponsorship from private individuals and occasionally have to sue for child support (ie, support from a child). The economy would probably be livelier.

Probably robot nannies, driverless cars, and various security aspects of the emergent surveillance society (such as universal GPS tracking via smartphones, pervasive realtime camera monitoring by AI, realtime DNA sniffing, etc) will make children much more autonomous in the future. The time cost of raising a child could fall drastically, a return to the old days when parents told their kids to go outside and play, just be back in time for dinner. They could study on their own using some future super-duper version of Khan Academy, all watched over by machines of loving grace.

The OPP (old people problem) might someday get solved by the next SARS not being a false alarm. In the meantime, young people could passive-aggressively boycott annual flu shots, to reduce herd immunity.

go December 9, 2012 at 10:03 am

The attitude of some people here toward feminism is so weird. As if women everywhere were perfectly happy and content until Feminism came in like some sort of virus and infected them, and made them unhappy and stop having babies and cooking dinner for their husbands.

I thought the whole reason it caught on so quickly was precisely because so many women were unhappy with the status quo? The Problem Which Has No Name and all that (granted, a way too dramatic name for what should have just been called Housewife Ennui or something).

8 December 9, 2012 at 11:08 am

According to happiness surveys, they are less happy.

Plamus December 10, 2012 at 6:00 am

These happiness surveys ask women whether they are happy, do a simple “% of” calculation, and compare to some past data point. They do not ask “Would you trade places with a typical woman X years ago (X>30)?”, because that kind of questioning would quickly make happiness research uninteresting, and therefore happiness researchers poorer and less happy (hm, maybe they could study that?).

JWatts December 9, 2012 at 11:09 am

“As if women everywhere were perfectly happy and content until Feminism came in like some sort of virus and infected them, and made them unhappy and stop having babies and cooking dinner for their husbands.”

I don’t think anyone is claiming that.

Scrutineer December 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm

“[W]omen report being less happy today than they were 35 years ago, especially relative to the corresponding happiness rates for men. This is true of working women and stay-at-home moms, married women and those that are single, the highly educated and the less educated.”

- link

Brian Donohue December 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Housewife Ennui: a specific manifestation of the general phenomenon of Life Ennui.

collin December 9, 2012 at 10:54 am

There seems to be two trends in the world:

1) Robots and computers will do everything except Kevin Drum/Matt Y.’s bedpans and canasta for old people.
2) Developed nations birth rates relatively continue to drop. (Although some of the long term low birth rates like Japan have very modestly risen.)

Are these two sides of the same coin? People are proactively having less children when the next generation needs less workers. Seems like some sort of comestic gnerational evolution here.

I do think P. Krugman being pesmissist about about the capital/labor payments forgets that the world is awash with savings and the above (especially with the diminishing cost of capital) that the world is entering into a giant Keysian liquidity trap.

8 December 9, 2012 at 11:15 am

I tend to lean this way, that the developed world is making the correct choice regarding reproduction. But in that case, Japan is the model. Developed economies will have to transition through a tough period due to the Boomer bulge, but things will improve immensely on the other side. Assuming they don’t import a huge pool of unskilled labor that will become a new dependent class. Those who take the easy way out will have new problems, while the Japanese will emerge with a highly skilled, high wage workforce with few dependents.

Keith December 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Interesting perspective. I never thought about it like this. My perspective is a crash is coming to Japan. I can’t define what that is but it seems I think it will be worse than you do. I think each aging country (which is a long list these days) should strive for a pro-birth agenda so as to produce a soft landing. These policies tend not to work though.

M December 10, 2012 at 10:08 am

Of course, if understanding of the genetic basis of g comes to town, and effective interventions are developed, then Japan might be somewhat worse placed, although this may be more an issue for China. Brazil with a Chinese g looks like a better place than China (to well, anyone with eyes), after all.

Bill December 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Only men would be surprised

That if women got more education

They wouldn’t want to marry them.

Maybe we need better men.

Paulo Carmona December 9, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Nice comment. Hope they are looking for something else. Probably they are waiting for the right one. Normally women that have a high grade of education get married between 30 to 35 so they can get sucessfull.

Careless December 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm

If we do evolve sexual dimorphism in that way, how much will be better men, and how much will be worse women?

Bill December 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Mating is all about attraction and repulsion.

You sort to match your image of yourself in someone else.

Careless December 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Which is not responsive.

Careless December 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm

And also, not even right. I’ve forgotten how to ASCII “greater than or equal to”, but that’s what women want.

Steve Sailer December 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm

A big problem in Japan that discourages young women from getting married is their potential mother-in-laws’ expectations that they will get a domestic slave, just like they had to slave for their mothers-in-law. Combine that with the extreme life expectancy of Japanese women these days, and few young women are excited about signing up for a half century of female-female domestic sniping.

Sbard December 10, 2012 at 2:17 am

It’s a common sentiment of Japanese women that they won’t marry an eldest son unless his parents are dead, particularly if he comes from the countryside. As a result, many rural Japanese men are resorting to Chinese or Filipina spouses.

axa December 10, 2012 at 6:25 am

so, the idea of a robot taking care of the elders is just to liberate women from taking care of the mother-in-law?

analysand December 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

on fire in this thread

Stionij December 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm

America culture is what you get mixing Anglo puritanism, the Protestant work ethic, Enlightment values, anarchism and 60′s social liberalism plus anti-religious STEM. Northern European culture has the same values, except it’s highly conformist (liberal conformism).

Some Asian men on the other hand do not have these hang ups because it’s just purely STEM. And being nerdy. And being insensitive.

For example Japanese men are atheists. And into STEM. But because they have no *gasp* CHRISTIAN THEOCRACY! feelings they’re okay with balanced women who aren’t afraid of being feminine like.

Keith December 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Huh?

Brian Donohue December 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Allow me to translate: Christain theocracy is the source of hostility to women on this planet. Well-known historical fact.

And/or: Japan is a better place to be a woman than anywhere else.

The Anti-Gnostic December 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Muslim theocracy: What Muslim theocracy? Who? Where?
Amish theocracy: But they do carpentry and farming, and Witness was a great documentary.
Haredim theocracy: Shut up, you anti-Semite.
________________________
Christian theocracy: Well-documented source of all hostility to women on this planet. Women emigrating in droves from historically Christian countries to historically non-Christian countries.

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