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Child Gender And Parental Investments In India: Are Boys And Girls Treated Differently?

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  • Silvia H. Barcellos
  • Leandro Carvalho
  • Adriana Lleras-Muney
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    Abstract

    Although previous research has not always found that boys and girls are treated differently in rural India, son-biased stopping rules imply that estimates of the effect of gender on parental investments are likely to be biased because girls systematically end up in larger families. We propose a novel identification strategy for overcoming this bias. We document that boys receive significantly more childcare time than girls. In addition boys are more likely to be breastfed longer, and to be given vaccinations and vitamin supplementation. We then present suggestive evidence that the differential treatment of boys is neither due to their greater needs nor to the effect of anticipated family size.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17781.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2012
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    Publication status: published as “Child gender and Parental Investments in India: Are boys and Girls Treated Differently?” forthcoming, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. (joint with Silvia H. Barcellos and Leandro Carvalho)
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17781

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    References

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    1. 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.
    2. Jayachandran, Seema & Kuziemko, Ilyana, 2009. "Why Do Mothers Breastfeed Girls Less Than Boys? Evidence and Implications for Child Health in India," CEPR Discussion Papers 7321, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Sharon Maccini & Dean Yang, 2009. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1006-26, June.
    4. repec:bla:restud:v:75:y:2008:i:4:p:1085-1120 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Emily Oster, 2006. "Does Increased Access Increase Equality? Gender and Child Health Investments in India," NBER Working Papers 12743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2008. "Life Expectancy and Human Capital Investments: Evidence From Maternal Mortality Declines," NBER Working Papers 13947, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Borooah, Vani, 2004. "Gender Bias Among Children in India in their Diet and Immunisation Against Disease," MPRA Paper 19590, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Gordon B. Dahl & Enrico Moretti, 2008. "The Demand for Sons," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1085-1120.
    9. Oster, Emily, 2009. "Does increased access increase equality? Gender and child health investments in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 62-76, May.
    10. Gangadharan, L. & Maitra, P., 1999. "Testing for Son Preference in South Africa," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 724, The University of Melbourne.
    11. Tarozzi, Alessandro, 2008. "Growth reference charts and the nutritional status of Indian children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 455-468, December.
    12. Tarozzi, Alessandro & Mahajan, Aprajit, 2007. "Child Nutrition in India in the Nineties," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(3), pages 441-86, April.
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    Cited by:
    1. de Haan, Monique & Plug, Erik & Rosero, José, 2012. "Birth Order and Human Capital Development: Evidence from Ecuador," IZA Discussion Papers 6706, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2013. "Boy-Girl Differences in Parental Time Investments: Evidence from Three Countries," NBER Working Papers 18893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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