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Gender Preferences for Children in Europe

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Author Info

  • Karsten Hank

    (University of Mannheim)

  • Hans-Peter Kohler

    (University of Pennsylvania)

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    Abstract

    Gender preferences may have substantial implications for a couple’s fertility behavior. However, there is only limited empirical research investigating this subject in modern Western societies. In this paper, data from the Fertility and Family Surveys are used to compare 17 European countries with respect to their gender preferences for children. Despite substantial regional heterogeneity across Europe, our results show a strong tendency towards a preference for a mixed sex composition (if there is any preference at all). However, we found some unexpected indication for a girl preference in the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Portugal. Because socioeconomic conditions and family policies, which are important factors in explaining different fertility levels, are not related to a specific gender of children, we argue that cultural factors are of major importance for different gender preferences.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:2:y:2000:i:1

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

    Related research

    Keywords: crossnational analysis; fertility; gender preferences;

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    1. Hilke Brockmann, 1999. "Girls preferred? Changing patterns of gender preferences in the two German states," MPIDR Working Papers WP-1999-010, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Jonathan Haughton & Dominique Haughton, 1998. "Are simple tests of son preference useful? An evaluation using data from Vietnam," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 495-516.
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