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A Turning Point in Gender Bias in Mortality? An Update on the Number of Missing Women

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  • Stephan Klasen
  • Claudia Wink

Abstract

Amartya Sen started a debate about gender bias in mortality by estimating the number of "missing women," which refers to the number of females of any age who have presumably died as a result of discriminatory treatment. Depending on the assumptions made, the combined estimates for countries exhibiting the presence of such gender bias varied between 60 and 107 million. As new population data have become available for these countries, this article examines whether the number of "missing women" has changed in the past decade. The combined estimate of the number of missing women has risen in absolute terms but has fallen slightly in relation to overall population. Considerable improvement is evident in West Asia, North Africa, and parts of South Asia, while only small improvements have occurred in India and a deterioration took place in China. Analyses of the underlying causes of gender bias in mortality suggest that improvements are largely related to improved female education and employment opportunities and rising overall incomes, while deterioration is mostly attributable to the rising incidence of sex-selective abortions. Copyright 2002 by The Population Council, Inc..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.

Volume (Year): 28 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 285-312

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Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:28:y:2002:i:2:p:285-312

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Cited by:
  1. D. Jayaraj & S. Subramanian, 2009. "The wellbeing implications of a change in the sex-ratio of a population," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 129-150, June.
  2. Gani Aldashev & Catherine Guirkinger, 2011. "Deadly Anchor: Gender Bias under Russian Colonization of Kazakhstan, 1898-1908," Working Papers 1111, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
  3. Aldashev, Gani & Guirkinger, Catherine, 2012. "Deadly anchor: Gender bias under Russian colonization of Kazakhstan," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 399-422.
  4. Lefebvre, Pierre, 2006. "Discrimination sexuelle dans les dépenses des ménages : survol de la littérature et évidences empiriques pour le Canada," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 82(1), pages 119-153, mars-juin.
  5. Arup Maharatna, 2009. "Can ‘Beautiful’ Be ‘Backward’? India’s Tribes in a Long-Term Demographic Perspective," Working Papers id:2191, eSocialSciences.
  6. Stephan Klasen, 2006. "Pro-Poor Growth and Gender Inequality," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 151, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Smith, Lisa C. & Byron, Elizabeth M., 2005. "Is greater decisionmaking power of women associated with reduced gender discrimination in South Asia?," FCND discussion papers 200, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Das Gupta, Monica, 2008. "Does Hepatitis B infection or son preference explain the bulk of gender imbalance in China ? : a review of the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4502, The World Bank.
  9. Huijun Liu & Shuzhuo Li & Marc Feldman, 2013. "Gender in Marriage and Life Satisfaction Under Gender Imbalance in China: The Role of Intergenerational Support and SES," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 915-933, December.
  10. Stephan Klasen, 2008. "Missing Women: Some Recent Controversies on Levels and Trends in Gender Bias in Mortality," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 168, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Vani S. Kulkarni & Manoj Pandey & Raghav Gaiha, 2013. "MDGs and gender inequality," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 18813, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  12. Abu-Ghaida, Dina & Klasen, Stephan, 2004. "The Costs of Missing the Millennium Development Goal on Gender Equity," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1075-1107, July.
  13. Lee, Yiu-fai Daniel, 2008. "Do families spend more on boys than on girls? Empirical evidence from rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 80-100, March.
  14. Priya Bhagowalia & Susan E. Chen & William A. Masters, 2009. "Effects And Determinants Of Mild Underweight Among Preschool Children Across Countries And Over Time," Working Papers 09-13, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  15. Scott South & Katherine Trent & Sunita Bose, 2012. "India’s ‘Missing Women’ and Men’s Sexual Risk Behavior," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 31(6), pages 777-795, December.
  16. Kana Fuse, 2013. "Daughter preference in Japan: A reflection of gender role attitudes?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 28(36), pages 1021-1052, May.
  17. Dreher, Axel & Gehring, Kai & Klasen, Stephan, 2013. "Gesture politics or real commitment? Gender inequality and the allocation of aid," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  18. Scott South & Katherine Trent & Sunita Bose, 2014. "Skewed Sex Ratios and Criminal Victimization in India," Demography, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 1019-1040, June.
  19. Lisa Inchani & Dejian Lai, 2008. "Association of educational level and child sex ratio in rural and urban India," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 86(1), pages 69-81, March.

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