Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Demand for Sons: Evidence from Divorce, Fertility, and Shotgun Marriage

Contents:

Author Info

  • Gordon B. Dahl
  • Enrico Moretti

Abstract

This paper shows how parental preferences for sons versus daughters affect divorce, child custody, marriage, shotgun marriage when the sex of the child is known before birth, and fertility stopping rules. We document that parents with girls are significantly more likely to be divorced, that divorced fathers are more likely to have custody of their sons, and that women with only girls are substantially more likely to have never been married. Perhaps the most striking evidence comes from the analysis of shotgun marriages. Among those who have an ultrasound test during their pregnancy, mothers carrying a boy are more likely to be married at delivery. When we turn to fertility, we find that in families with at least two children, the probability of having another child is higher for all-girl families than all-boy families. This preference for sons seems to be largely driven by fathers, with men reporting they would rather have a boy by more than a two to one margin. In the final part of the paper, we compare the effects for the U.S. to five developing countries.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10281.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10281.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Dahl, Gordon B. and Enrico Moretti. “The Demand for Sons.” Review of Economic Studies 75, 4 (October 2008): 1085-1120.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10281

Note: LS CH
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S11-S26, Part II, .
  2. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 450-77, June.
  3. 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.
  4. Kevane, Michael & Levine, David I., 2003. "Changing Status of Daughters in Indonesia," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkele qt0b52v28f, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  6. Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1986. "Birth Spacing and Sibling Inequality: Asymmetric Information within the Family," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 55-76, February.
  7. Leung, Siu Fai, 1991. "A Stochastic Dynamic Analysis of Parental Sex Preferences and Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1063-88, November.
  8. Behrman, Jere R & Pollak, Robert A & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "Do Parents Favor Boys?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 33-54, February.
  9. Butcher, Kristin F & Case, Anne, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-63, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10281. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.