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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

Related research

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

References

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  1. Bhalotra, Sonia, 2010. "Fatal fluctuations? Cyclicality in infant mortality in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 7-19, September.
  2. Monica Das Gupta, 2005. "Explaining Asia's "Missing Women": A New Look at the Data," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(3), pages 529-535.
  3. Xiaobo Zhang & Ravi Kanbur, 2004. "Spatial Inequality in Education and Health Care in China," Working Papers 159, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
  4. 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.
  5. Yang, Dali L. & Su, Fubing, 1998. "The politics of famine and reform in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 141-155.
  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. 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.
  8. Behrman, Jere R, 1988. "Intrahousehold Allocation of Nutrients in Rural India: Are Boys Favored? Do Parents Exhibit Inequality Aversion?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 32-54, March.
  9. Gorgens, Tue & Meng, Xin & Vaithianathan, Rhema, 2007. "Stunting and Selection Effects of Famine: A Case Study of the Great Chinese Famine," IZA Discussion Papers 2543, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Yong Cai & Wang Feng, 2005. "Famine, social disruption, and involuntary fetal loss: Evidence from chinese survey data," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 301-322, May.
  11. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2004. "The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," Working Papers 246, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  12. Das Gupta, Monica & Jiang Zhenghua & Li Bohua & Xie Zhenming & Woojin Chung & Bae Hwa-Ok, 2002. "Why is son preference so persistent in East and South Asia? a cross-country study of China, India, and the Republic of Korea," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2942, The World Bank.
  13. Sen, Amartya, 1998. "Mortality as an Indicator of Economic Success and Failure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 1-25, January.
  14. 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.
  15. Gale Johnson, D., 1998. "China's great famine: Introductory remarks," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 103-109.
  16. Karen Norberg, 2004. "Partnership Status and the Human Sex Ratio at Birth," NBER Working Papers 10920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Glewwe, Paul & Miguel, Edward A., 2008. "The Impact of Child Health and Nutrition on Education in Less Developed Countries," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  18. Chang, Gene Hsin & Wen, Guanzhong James, 1998. "Food availability versus consumption efficiency: causes of the Chinese famine," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 157-165.
  19. Heather Royer, 2009. "Separated at Girth: US Twin Estimates of the Effects of Birth Weight," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 49-85, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2012-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Philip Verwimp, 2011. "Malnutrition, subsequent Risk of Mortality and Civil War in Burundi," Working Papers CEB 11-025, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. 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.
  8. Chen, Xi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2012. "Costly posturing: relative status, ceremonies and early child development in China:," IFPRI discussion papers 1206, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. 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.
  10. Verwimp, Philip, 2012. "Undernutrition, subsequent risk of mortality and civil war in Burundi," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 221-231.
  11. 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.

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