Does a legal ban on sex-selective abortions improve child sex ratios? Evidence from a policy change in India
Despite strong recent economic growth, gender inequality remains a major concern for India. This paper examines the effectiveness of a public policy geared towards the reduction of gender inequality. The national Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques (PNDT) Act of 1994, implemented in 1996, banned sex-selective abortions in India. Although demographers frequently mention the futility of the Act, we are among the first to evaluate the law using a treatment-effect analysis framework. Using village and town level longitudinal data from the 1991 and 2001 censuses, we find a significantly positive impact of the PNDT Act on female-to-male child sex ratio. Given the almost ubiquitous decline in the observed child sex ratio during this period, we argue that the law was successful in preventing any further worsening of the gender imbalance. We find that a possible absence of the law would have led to at least 106,000 fewer female children.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Valente, C.;, 2010.
"Access to Abortion, Investments in Neonatal Health, and Sex-Selection: Evidence from Nepal,"
Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers
10/15, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Valente, Christine, 2014. "Access to abortion, investments in neonatal health, and sex-selection: Evidence from Nepal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 225-243.
- Christine Valente, 2011. "Access to Abortion, Investments in Neonatal Health, and Sex-Selection: Evidence from Nepal," Working Papers 2011006, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2011.
- A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008.
"Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
- A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2007. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," NBER Technical Working Papers 0344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Doug Miller & A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach, 2006. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," Working Papers 621, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- Nancy Qian, 2009.
"Quantity-Quality and the One Child Policy:The Only-Child Disadvantage in School Enrollment in Rural China,"
NBER Working Papers
14973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nancy Qian, 2010. "Quantity-Quality and the One Child Policy: The Only-Child Disadvantage in School Enrollment in Rural China," Working Papers id:2558, eSocialSciences.
- Hongbin LI & Hui ZHENG, 2009. "Ultrasonography and Sex Ratios in China," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 4(1), pages 121-137.
- Monica Das Gupta, 2005. "Explaining Asia's "Missing Women": A New Look at the Data," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(3), pages 529-535.
- Dhairiyarayar Jayaraj & Sreenivasan Subramanian, 2004. "Women's Wellbeing and the Sex Ratio at Birth: Some Suggestive Evidence from India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(5), pages 91-119.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1982. "Market Opportunities, Genetic Endowments, and Intrafamily Resource Distribution: Child Survival in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 803-15, September.
- Emily Oster, 2005.
"Hepatitis B and the Case of the Missing Women,"
- Avraham Ebenstein, 2010. "The "Missing Girls" of China and the Unintended Consequences of the One Child Policy," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
- Chu Junhong, 2001. "Prenatal Sex Determination and Sex-Selective Abortion in Rural Central China," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(2), pages 259-281.
- Woojin Chung & Monica Das Gupta, 2007. "The Decline of Son Preference in South Korea: The Roles of Development and Public Policy," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(4), pages 757-783.
- 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1251-1285.
- Josh Angrist, 2002.
"How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage and Labor Markets? Evidence from America's Second Generation,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038.
- Angrist, Joshua, 2001. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage and Labor Markets? Evidence from America's Second Generation," IZA Discussion Papers 368, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- 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 2259-73, December.
- Wertz, Dorothy C. & Fletcher, John C., 1993. "Prenatal diagnosis and sex selection in 19 nations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 1359-1366, December.
- Fred Arnold & Sunita Kishor & T. K. Roy, 2002. "Sex-Selective Abortions in India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 759-785.
- Anil B. Deolalikar & Rana Hasan & Rohini Somanathan, 2009.
"Public Goods Access And Juvenile Sex Ratios In Rural India: Evidence From The 1991 And 2001 Village Census Data,"
200911, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2009.
- B. Deolalikar, Anil & Hasan, Rana & Somanathan, Rohini, 2009. "Public Goods Access and Juvenile Sex Ratios in Rural India: Evidence from the 1991 and 2001 Village Census Data," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 167, Asian Development Bank.
- Shelley Clark, 2000. "Son preference and sex composition of children: Evidence from india," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 95-108, February.
- Edlund, Lena & Li, Hongbin & Yi, Junjian & Zhang, Junsen, 2007. "Sex Ratios and Crime: Evidence from China’s One-Child Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 3214, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Rubiana Chamarbagwala, 2011. "Sibling composition and selective gender-based survival bias," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 935-955, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:103:y:2013:i:c:p:216-228. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.