More Women Missing, Fewer Girls Dying: The Impact of Abortion on Sex Ratios at Birth and Excess Female Mortality in Taiwan
AbstractMany countries with "deficits" in their female population see banning sex-selective abortion as a way to curb the observed sex imbalance without discussing potentially negative unintended consequences of this ban on female survival rates as parents may be forced to substitute post-natal for pre-natal sex-selection. This paper presents novel empirical evidence on the impact of access to abortion on sex ratios at birth and relative female infant mortality. We use the universe of birth and death registry data from Taiwan and exploit plausibly exogenous variation in the availability of sex-selective abortion caused by the legalization of abortions to identify the causal effects of sex-selective abortion on sex ratios at birth and excess female mortality. We find that sex-selective abortion increased the fraction of males at birth by approximately 0.7 percentage-points, accounting for approximately 100% of the observed increase in sex ratios at birth during the 1980s; and it decreased relative female neo-natal mortality by approximately 25%. We estimate that approximately 15 more female infants survived for every 100 aborted female fetuses.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6667.
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
Other versions of this item:
- Ming-Jen Lin & Nancy Qian & Jin-Tan Liu, 2008. "More Women Missing, Fewer Girls Dying: The Impact of Abortion on Sex Ratios at Birth and Excess Female Mortality in Taiwan," NBER Working Papers 14541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-04-12 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robin Burgess & Juzhong Zhuang, 2000. "Modernisation and Son Preference," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 29, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Lena Edlund, 1999. "Son Preference, Sex Rations, and Marriage Patterns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1275-1304, December.
- Angrist, Joshua, 2001.
"How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage and Labor Markets? Evidence from America's Second Generation,"
IZA Discussion Papers
368, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Josh Angrist, 2002. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage And Labor Markets? Evidence From America'S Second Generation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038, August.
- Jason Abrevaya, 2009. "Are There Missing Girls in the United States? Evidence from Birth Data," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 1-34, April.
- Shin-Yi Chou & Jin-Tan Liu & Michael Grossman & Theodore J. Joyce, 2007.
"Parental Education and Child Health: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Taiwan,"
NBER Working Papers
13466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Shin-Yi Chou & Jin-Tan Liu & Michael Grossman & Ted Joyce, 2010. "Parental Education and Child Health: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Taiwan," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 33-61, January.
- Donohue, John J. & Levitt, Steven D., 2000.
"The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime,"
Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series
qt00p599hk, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
- Nancy Qian, 2008.
"Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1251-1285, August.
- Qian, Nancy, 2006. "Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance," CEPR Discussion Papers 5986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Thomas, D., 1995.
"Like Father, Like Son, Like Mother, Like Daughter, Parental Resources and Child Height,"
95-01, RAND - Reprint Series.
- Duncan Thomas, 1994. "Like Father, like Son; Like Mother, like Daughter: Parental Resources and Child Height," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 950-988.
- Karen Norberg, 2004. "Partnership Status and the Human Sex Ratio at Birth," NBER Working Papers 10920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1982. "Market Opportunities, Genetic Endowments, and Intrafamily Resource Distribution: Child Survival in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 803-15, September.
- Hu, Luojia & Schlosser, Analia, 2011.
"Prenatal Sex Selection and Girls' Well-Being: Evidence from India,"
IZA Discussion Papers
5562, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Luojia Hu & Analía Schlosser, 2010. "Prenatal sex selection and girls’ well-being? evidence from India," Working Paper Series WP-2010-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Jane Golley & Rod Tyers, 2012. "China's Gender Imbalance and its Economic Performance," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 12-10, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
- Esther Duflo, 2011. "Women’s Empowerment and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 17702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Claus C Pörtner, 2010. "Sex Selective Abortions, Fertility and Birth Spacing," Working Papers UWEC-2010-04-R, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2010.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.