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Can Hepatitis B Mothers Account for the Number of Missing Women? Evidence from Three Million Newborns in Taiwan

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  • Ming-Jen Lin
  • Ming-Ching Luoh

Abstract

The "missing women" phenomenon in many Asian countries has previously been regarded as the result of son preference. However, some studies have argued half of the missing women can be explained by infection with Hepatitis B virus (HBV). We demonstrate that the probability of having a male birth is only slightly higher for HBV mothers than for mothers without HBV. The sex ratio at birth rises for the higher birth order and that in families where the first two children are female. Our findings suggest that HBV status has little impact on the missing women phenomenon. (JEL I12, J16)

Suggested Citation

  • Ming-Jen Lin & Ming-Ching Luoh, 2008. "Can Hepatitis B Mothers Account for the Number of Missing Women? Evidence from Three Million Newborns in Taiwan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2259-2273, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:5:p:2259-73 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.5.2259
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    1. repec:bla:jecsur:v:31:y:2017:i:1:p:326-342 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Deepankar Basu, 2009. "Son Preference, Sex Selection and the Problem of Missing Women in India," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2009-06, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    3. Oster, Emily & Chen, Gang & Yu, Xinsen & Lin, Wenyao, 2010. "Hepatitis B does not explain male-biased sex ratios in China," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 142-144, May.
    4. Michael A. Clemens, 2017. "The Meaning Of Failed Replications: A Review And Proposal," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 326-342, February.
    5. Yuyu Chen & Hongbin Li & Lingsheng Meng, 2013. "Prenatal Sex Selection and Missing Girls in China: Evidence from the Diffusion of Diagnostic Ultrasound," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(1), pages 36-70.
    6. Maria Porter, 2016. "How do sex ratios in China influence marriage decisions and intra-household resource allocation?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 337-371, June.
    7. Stephan Klasen, 2008. "Missing Women: Some Recent Controversies on Levels and Trends in Gender Bias in Mortality," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 168, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
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    16. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2011. "Are There Increasing Returns to Scale in Marriage Markets?," Working Papers 395, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    17. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2011. "The Competitive Saving Motive: Evidence from Rising Sex Ratios and Savings Rates in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 511-564.
    18. Hongbin Li & Junjian Yi & Junsen Zhang, 2011. "Estimating the Effect of the One-Child Policy on the Sex Ratio Imbalance in China: Identification Based on the Difference-in-Differences," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(4), pages 1535-1557, November.
    19. Alexander Stimpfle & David Stadelmann, 2016. "Does Central Europe Import the Missing Women Phenomenon?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2016-04, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
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    21. V. Bhaskar, 2011. "Sex Selection and Gender Balance," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 214-244, February.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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