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Land Reform and Sex Selection in China

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  • Douglas Almond
  • Hongbin Li
  • Shuang Zhang

Abstract

Following the death of Mao in 1976, abandonment of collective farming lifted millions from poverty and heralded sweeping pro-market policies. How did China’s excess in male births respond to rural land reform? In newly-available data from over 1,000 counties, a second child following a daughter was 5.5 percent more likely to be a boy after land reform, doubling the prevailing rate of sex selection. Mothers with higher levels of education were substantially more likely to select sons than were less educated mothers. The One Child Policy was implemented over the same time period and is frequently blamed for increased sex ratios during the early 1980s. Our results point to China’s watershed economic liberalization as a more likely culprit.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19153.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19153

Note: CH DEV HE LE LS PE POL
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  1. Yang, Dennis T. & An, Mark Yuying, 1997. "Human Capital, Entrereneurship, and Farm Household Earnings," Working Papers, Duke University, Department of Economics 97-03, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  2. Lin, Justin Yifu, 1992. "Rural Reforms and Agricultural Growth in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 34-51, March.
  3. Chung, Jae Ho, 2000. "Central Control and Local Discretion in China: Leadership and Implementation during Post-Mao Decollectivization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780198297772, October.
  4. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2006. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," NBER Working Papers 12329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Xin Meng & Nancy Qian & Pierre Yared, 2010. "The Institutional Causes of China's Great Famine, 1959-61," NBER Working Papers 16361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. World Bank, 2012. "World Development Report 2012," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4391, August.
  8. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2011. "Sex Ratios, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Growth in the People’s Republic of China," NBER Working Papers 16800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Anukriti, S & Kumler, Todd J., 2014. "Tariffs, Social Status, and Gender in India," IZA Discussion Papers 7969, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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