An Experimental Study of the Competitive Saving Motive

We use a series of laboratory experiments to study the hypothesis of the competitive saving
motive proposed by Wei and Zhang (2011) and Du and Wei (2013). In a laboratory setting,
we can easily change the sex ratio exogenously and consider both cases of excess men and
those of excess women. We con…rm the basic prediction of the hypothesis that a rise in the
sex ratio leads to a rise in the aggregate savings rate but …nd some interesting asymmetries
between men and women. We also separately identify the competitive saving motive and a pure hedging motive and …nd that the hedging induced savings is negligible. Finally, we investigate the effect of heterogeneous incomes on competitive savings, something that is hard to obtain analytical results in the theory.