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India's Falling Sex Ratios

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  • Peter Mayer

Abstract

The proportion of females in India's population, low compared to other countries, reached its lowest level this century in the 1991 census. India's low sex ratios-defined here as the number of females relative to the number of males-have been scrutinized for well over a century. The persistent decline in the twentieth century has been the subject of renewed investigation and critical comment over the past two decades. While many explanations for the decline have been offered, almost without exception these have not addressed the causes of the nearly continuous fall observed since 1901. Several possible long-term changes are investigated in this note. The author argues that India's declining sex ratio is primarily an artifact of the dynamics of India's population growth. Copyright 1999 by The Population Council, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Mayer, 1999. "India's Falling Sex Ratios," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 323-343.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:25:y:1999:i:2:p:323-343
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Agnihotri, S. & Palmer-Jones, R. & Parikh, A., 1998. "Missing Women in Indian Districts: an Entitlements Approach," University of East Anglia Discussion Papers in Economics 9810, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Scott South & Katherine Trent & Sunita Bose, 2014. "Skewed Sex Ratios and Criminal Victimization in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(3), pages 1019-1040, June.
    3. D. Jayaraj, 2009. "Exploring The Importance Of Excess Female Mortality And Discrimination In "Natality" In Explaining The "Lowness" Of The Sex Ratio In India," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 47(2), pages 177-201.
    4. Scott South & Katherine Trent & Sunita Bose, 2012. "India’s ‘Missing Women’ and Men’s Sexual Risk Behavior," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(6), pages 777-795, December.
    5. 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).
    6. Sudeshna Maitra, 2006. "Population Growth and Rising Dowries: The Long-Run Mechanism of a Marriage Squeeze," Working Papers 2006_9, York University, Department of Economics.
    7. D. Jayaraj & S. Subramanian, 2009. "The wellbeing implications of a change in the sex-ratio of a population," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 33(1), pages 129-150, June.
    8. Tanika Chakraborty & Sukkoo Kim, 2008. "Caste, Kinship and Sex Ratios in India," NBER Working Papers 13828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Agnihotri, Satish & Palmer-Jones, Richard & Parikh, Ashok, 2002. "Missing women in Indian districts: a quantitative analysis," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 285-314, September.
    10. Lídia Farré, 2013. "The Role of Men in the Economic and Social Development of Women: Implications for Gender Equality," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 22-51, February.

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