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Why does the Great Chinese Famine affect the male and female survivors differently? Mortality selection versus son preference

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  • Mu, Ren
  • Zhang, Xiaobo

Abstract

Evidence shows that exposure to nutritional adversity in early life has larger long-term impacts on women than on men. Consistent with these findings, our paper shows a higher incidence of disability and illiteracy among female survivors of the Great Chinese Famine (1959-1961). Moreover we find that the better health of male survivors most plausibly reflects higher male excess mortality during the famine, whereas the observed gender difference in illiteracy rate is probably better explained by the culture of son preference.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 9 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 92-105

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:9:y:2011:i:1:p:92-105

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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Keywords: Gender Famine Chinese Great Famine Son preference Mortality selection;

References

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  1. Kanbur, Ravi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2003. "Spatial Inequality in Education and Health Care in China," CEPR Discussion Papers 4136, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang & Yi Zhu, 2005. "The Effect of the One-Child Policy on Fertility in China: Identification Based on the Differences-in-Differences," Discussion Papers 00019, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
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  6. Song, Shige & Wang, Wei & Hu, Peifeng, 2009. "Famine, death, and madness: Schizophrenia in early adulthood after prenatal exposure to the Chinese Great Leap Forward Famine," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 1315-1321, April.
  7. Monica Das Gupta & Jiang Zhenghua & Li Bohua & Xie Zhenming & Woojin Chung & Bae Hwa-Ok, 2003. "Why is Son preference so persistent in East and South Asia? a cross-country study of China, India and the Republic of Korea," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(2), pages 153-187.
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  16. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2004. "Returns to Birthweight," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 586-601, May.
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  20. Wei Li & Dennis Tao Yang, 2005. "The Great Leap Forward: Anatomy of a Central Planning Disaster," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 840-877, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Kim, Seonghoon & Deng, Quheng & Fleisher, Belton M. & Li, Shi, 2014. "The Lasting Impact of Parental Early Life Malnutrition on Their Offspring: Evidence from the China Great Leap Forward Famine," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 232-242.
  2. Tan, Chih Ming & Tan, Zhibo & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2014. "Sins of the fathers: The intergenerational legacy of the 1959-1961 Great Chinese Famine on children's cognitive development:," IFPRI discussion papers 1351, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Chen, Xi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2012. "Costly Posturing: Relative Status, Ceremonies and Early Child Development in China," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Chih Ming Tan & Zhibo Tan & Xiaobo Zhang, 2014. "Sins of the Father: The Intergenerational Legacy of the 1959-61 Great Chinese Famine on Children’s Cognitive Development," Working Paper Series 08_14, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  5. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2011. "Sex Ratios, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Growth in the People’s Republic of China," NBER Working Papers 16800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Philip Verwimp, 2011. "Malnutrition, subsequent Risk of Mortality and Civil War in Burundi," HiCN Working Papers 97, Households in Conflict Network.
  7. Minoiu, Camelia & Shemyakina, Olga N., 2014. "Armed conflict, household victimization, and child health in Côte d'Ivoire," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 237-255.
  8. Samuel K. Ampaabeng & Chih Ming Tang, 2012. "The Long-Term Cognitive Consequences of Early Childhood Malnutrition: The Case of Famine in Ghana," Working Paper Series 64_12, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  9. Huang, Cheng & Phillips, Michael R. & Zhang, Yali & Zhang, Jingxuan & Shi, Qichang & Song, Zhiqiang & Ding, Zhijie & Pang, Shutao & Martorell, Reynaldo, 2013. "Malnutrition in early life and adult mental health: Evidence from a natural experiment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 259-266.
  10. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2012-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Ampaabeng, Samuel K. & Tan, Chih Ming, 2013. "The long-term cognitive consequences of early childhood malnutrition: The case of famine in Ghana," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1013-1027.
  12. Samantha Rawlings, 2012. "Scarring and Selection Effects of Epidemic Malaria on Human Capital," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2012-01, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  13. Verwimp, Philip, 2012. "Undernutrition, subsequent risk of mortality and civil war in Burundi," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 221-231.
  14. Song, Shige, 2013. "Identifying the intergenerational effects of the 1959–1961 Chinese Great Leap Forward Famine on infant mortality," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 474-487.
  15. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang & Yin Liu, 2012. "Status Competition and Housing Prices," NBER Working Papers 18000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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