IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

How can economic schemes curtail the increasing sex ratio at birth in China?


  • Debarun Bhattacharjya

    (Stanford University)

  • Anant Sudarshan

    (Stanford University)

  • Shripad Tuljapurkar

    (Stanford University)

  • Ross Shachter

    (Stanford University)

  • Marcus Feldman

    (Stanford University)


Fertility decline, driven by the one-child policy, and son preference have contributed to an alarming difference in the number of live male and female births in China. We present a quantitative model where people choose to sex-select because they perceive that married sons are more valuable than married daughters. Due to the predominant patrilocal kinship system in China, daughters-in-law provide valuable emotional and financial support, enhancing the perceived present value of married sons. We argue that inter-generational transfer data will help ascertain the extent to which economic schemes (such as pension plans for families with no sons) can curtail the increasing sex ratio at birth.

Suggested Citation

  • Debarun Bhattacharjya & Anant Sudarshan & Shripad Tuljapurkar & Ross Shachter & Marcus Feldman, 2008. "How can economic schemes curtail the increasing sex ratio at birth in China?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(54), pages 1831-1850, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:54

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Monica Das Gupta & Jiang Zhenghua & Li Bohua & Xie Zhenming & Woojin Chung & Bae Hwa-Ok, 2003. "Why is Son preference so persistent in East and South Asia? a cross-country study of China, India and the Republic of Korea," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(2), pages 153-187.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Yi Zeng & Linda George & Melanie Sereny & Danan Gu & James W. Vaupel, 2015. "Older parents enjoy better filial piety and care from daughters than sons in China," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2015-012, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

    More about this item


    sex ratio at birth; sex selection; sex-selective potency; son preference; value of child;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:54. 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: (Editorial Office). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.