Sex ratios, labour markets and assortative mating Abstract Post colonisation there has been a number of times when there have been odd sex ratios in New Zealand. Aside from the two world wars, these odd ratios have been driven primarily by labour market related gendered migration. Odd sex ratios affect the marriage market but, at times, marriage markets can also affect sex ratios. Over recent years journalists have labelled the current shortage of men in prime couple forming and childrearing age groups as a ‘man drought’. While the media often treat this phenomena as a ‘lifestyle’ issue, such imbalances can have important implications for social policy such as: child bearing decisions, including choices to have children without a partner; household income inequality; interethnic and cross cultural partnering decisions; and gender equality in both paid and unpaid work.