The Curious Case of Son Preference and Household Income in Rural China
AbstractWhy is it that couples who have a son or whose last child is a son earn higher conditional income?ï¿½ To solve this curious case we tell a detective story: evidence of a phenomenon to be explained, a parade of suspects, a process of elimination from the enquiry, and then the denouement.ï¿½ Given the draconian family planning policy and a common perception that there is strong son preference in rural China, we postulate two main hypotheses: income-based sex selection making it more likely that richer households have sons, and an incentive for households with sons to raise their income.ï¿½ Tests of each hypothesis are conducted.ï¿½ The evidence is inconsistent with the sex selection hypothesis but the incentive hypothesis cannot be rejected; and there is evidence in support of the channels through which the incentive effect might operate.ï¿½ To our knowledge, this is the first study to test these hypotheses in rural China and more generally in developing countries.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2008-03.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- John Knight & Li Shi & Deng Quheng, 2008. "The Curious Case of Son Preference and Household Income in Rural China," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2008-03, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- 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
- J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
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.:
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- Shelly Lundberg & Elaina Rose, 1999. "The Effect of Sons and Daughters on Men's Labor Supply and Wages," Working Papers 0033, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
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