Global Dashboard has a good catch on gender inequality and economic development. According to Dr. Shang-Jin Wei, sex ratio in China has a significant influence on saving rate. Since the Chinese culture dictates that males must have real property (having cars is a plus) in order to successfully court their mates, families will save up so that they can buy the property for their sons.
This is an interesting suggestion, but Shang-Jin Wei does not tell us how strong the relationship is and how other variables, for example, investment opportunity, access to market, etc., would influence saving rate (he controlled for income inequality, enrollment in the social security system, which is sub par when compared to more developed countries and restricted by “hukou", and other variables). Given that capital market in China is still relatively small and unstable, its policies tilted towards State-owned enterprise and exporters, growth of income rate for ordinary citizens is still slow, and its currency is still undervalued, it would be difficulty for ordinary Chinese to invest.
Still, the idea is interesting, and hopefully there would be more research on that (and on identity economics in general). Anyway, Chinese culture has to change to incorporate its citizenry into the society.