‘Religion and Fertility in India: The role of son preference and daughter aversion’
AbstractThis paper brings together the notion of ‘son preference’ and the complementary concept of ‘daughter aversion’ to provide an explanation for larger Muslim, relative to Hindu, families in India. Just as sons bring ‘benefits’ to their parents, daughters impose ‘costs’ and complementing a desire to have sons is a desire not to have daughters. Consequently, the desire for sons increases family size while the fear of daughters limits it. A formal model, in which these two countervailing forces act so as to determine equilibrium family size and composition, is developed. Qualitative evidence about Hindus and Muslims in their attitudes towards sons and daughters is presented; as are quantitative results from a Poisson regression model estimated on data for 10,548 women who had attained their equilibrium family size. The analysis concludes that higher Muslim fertility compared to Hindus may in reality reflect significantly lower levels of daughter aversion among this community.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0436.
Date of creation: Jul 2004
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Religion; fertility; infant mortality; contraception; gender bias; Poisson regression models;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- O53 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
- Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-07-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-CWA-2004-07-11 (Central & Western Asia)
- NEP-LTV-2004-07-11 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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