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Missing Women in China

December 12, 2018

MC 13-121

  • Nancy Qian
    Nancy Qian is the James J. O’Connor Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. She is a native of Shanghai, China, and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT. Prior to Kellogg, Professor Qian taught at Yale University and Brown University, and was a visiting scholar at the department of economics at Harvard University while she was post-doctoral fellow of the prestigious Harvard Academy Scholars program.

    Her research provides empirical evidence for a set of core questions in development economics that broadly fall into three sub-categories: demography and development, geography and development and institutions and development. Her works in the first category include studies of the economic determinants of missing women, the effects of changes in family size on child educational attainment, the long-run effects of famine on health and labor supply, the historical effect of the Columbian Exchange on population growth and urbanization, and the extent to which human capital differences can explain cross-country income differences. Her work in the second category includes studies that explore the long-run effects of climate change on conflict and the long-run influence of agricultural productivity on economic growth and conflict. Her work in the third category includes a study of the institutional causes of China’s Great Famine, the determinants and consequences of elections in autocratic regimes, the determinants and consequences of humanitarian aid, understanding the government’s influence on the media, and the rapid economic development in China.

    Professor Qian’s work includes extensive analysis of survey data, as well as historical data and a recurring theme in in her research is to understand the difference between short and long run effects, and endogenous responses to economic incentives. She is an expert of the Chinese economy. Her research has been published in top academic journals and featured in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, such as the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the Kiel Global Excellence Award and National Science Foundation grants. She serves in several editorial positions and has consulted for development agencies such as The World Bank, the Global Development Network and the China Development Bank.

  • In the 20th Century, around 100 million women have been observed to be “missing” from the population. Half of such missing individuals are from China. In the past twenty years, a large body of empirical studies have made significant progress in our understanding of the causes as well as of the consequences of the phenomenon. This talk will discuss the evidence so far: the economic, policy and cultural determinants, and the potential consequences of missing women in China.

  • The Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) launched its lecture series in April 2005 to bring distinguished academics to the Bank to present and discuss new knowledge on development. The purpose of the Lecture Series is to introduce ideas on cutting edge research, challenge and contribute to the Bank's intellectual climate, and reexamine current development theories and practices. The Lectures revisit issues of long-standing concern and explore emerging issues that promise to be central to future development discourse. The Lecture Series reflects DEC’s commitment to intellectual leadership and openness in embracing future challenges to reduce poverty.

    The DEC Lecture Series is chaired by Shanta Devarajan, Senior Director, Development Economics, and includes a presentation and floor discussion.

    Please visit DEC Lecture Series to access additional information about this event series as well as presentation materials from past talks.

Lecture Details

  • Date: December 12, 2018
  • Time: 12:30 – 2:00 PM
  • Venue: MC 13-121
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