IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/deveco/v126y2017icp19-32.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Childhood health and the wantedness of male and female children

Author

Listed:
  • Palloni, Giordano

Abstract

Maternal desire for children of a particular sex has important implications for the well-being of household members. A simple theoretical model predicts that when a child is born of their mother's preferred sex, parents will allocate more resources towards that child, resulting in healthier children. I test this prediction empirically using a longitudinal data set from Indonesia. Each mother's preferred sex, defined by whether she prefers for future children to be male or female, is matched to the observed sex of her subsequent child. Because this measure of maternal sex preference is established before conception, identification requires only that the sex at birth of the subsequent child is random. I find that children born of their mother's preferred sex are heavier, have a higher body mass index, and experience fewer illnesses in early childhood. I show that reductions in subsequent fertility can explain roughly half of the total effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Palloni, Giordano, 2017. "Childhood health and the wantedness of male and female children," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 19-32.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:126:y:2017:i:c:p:19-32
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.11.005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304387816300967
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.11.005?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cruces, Guillermo & Galiani, Sebastian, 2007. "Fertility and female labor supply in Latin America: New causal evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 565-573, June.
    2. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2000. "Natural "Natural Experiments" in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(4), pages 827-874, December.
    3. Yoram Ben-Porath & Finis Welch, 1976. "Do Sex Preferences Really Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(2), pages 285-307.
    4. Gary S. Becker & H. Gregg Lewis, 1974. "Interaction between Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 81-90, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Seema Jayachandran & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2011. "Why Do Mothers Breastfeed Girls Less than Boys? Evidence and Implications for Child Health in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1485-1538.
    6. Daniel L. Millimet & Le Wang, 2011. "Is the Quantity-Quality Trade-Off a Trade-Off for All, None, or Some?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(1), pages 155-195.
    7. Janet Currie, 2009. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 87-122, March.
    8. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2016. "Boy-Girl Differences in Parental Time Investments: Evidence from Three Countries," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 399-441.
    9. Rohini Pande & Nan Astone, 2007. "Explaining son preference in rural India: the independent role of structural versus individual factors," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 26(1), pages 1-29, February.
    10. Kevane, Michael & Levine, David I., 2000. "The Changing Status of Daughters in Indonesia," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt09m817c0, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    11. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley & Joachim Winter, 2014. "The Measurement of Household Consumption Expenditures," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 475-501, August.
    12. John A. Maluccio & John Hoddinott & Jere R. Behrman & Reynaldo Martorell & Agnes R. Quisumbing & Aryeh D. Stein, 2009. "The Impact of Improving Nutrition During Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 734-763, April.
    13. Silvia Helena Barcellos & Leandro S. Carvalho & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2014. "Child Gender and Parental Investments in India: Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 157-189, January.
    14. Kasey S. Buckles & Elizabeth L. Munnich, 2012. "Birth Spacing and Sibling Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 613-642.
    15. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 450-477, June.
    16. Prashant Bharadwaj & Leah K. Lakdawala, 2013. "Discrimination Begins in the Womb: Evidence of Sex-Selective Prenatal Investments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(1), pages 71-113.
    17. Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Human resources: Empirical modeling of household and family decisions," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1883-2023, Elsevier.
    18. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie, 2011. "Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 153-172, Summer.
    19. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Edward Miguel & Charu Puri-Sharma, 2006. "Anemia and School Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    20. Alberto Palloni & Marta Tienda, 1986. "The effects of breastfeeding and pace of childbearing on mortality at early ages," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 23(1), pages 31-52, February.
    21. Behrman, Jere R. & Deolalikar, Anil B., 1988. "Health and nutrition," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 631-711, Elsevier.
    22. Paul Glewwe, 1999. "Why Does Mother's Schooling Raise Child Health in Developing Countries? Evidence from Morocco," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 124-159.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Marc Klemp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2019. "Fecundity, Fertility and The Formation of Human Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(618), pages 925-960.
    2. Dey, Subhasish & Ghosal, Tanisha, 2021. "Can Conditional Cash Transfer Defer Child Marriage? Impact of Kanyashree Prakalpa in West Bengal, India," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1333, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Adriana D. Kugler & Santosh Kumar, 2017. "Preference for Boys, Family Size, and Educational Attainment in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(3), pages 835-859, June.
    2. Paola A. Suarez, 2018. "Child-bride marriage and female welfare," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 1-28, February.
    3. de Haan, Monique, 2010. "Birth order, family size and educational attainment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 576-588, August.
    4. Luojia Hu & Analía Schlosser, 2015. "Prenatal Sex Selection and Girls’ Well‐Being: Evidence from India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(587), pages 1227-1261, September.
    5. Zurab Abramishvili & William Appleman & Sergii Maksymovych, 2019. "Parental Gender Preference in the Balkans and Scandinavia: Gender Bias or Differential Costs?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp643, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    6. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2018. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1360-1446, December.
    7. Fatma Romeh M. Ali & Mahmoud A. A. Elsayed, 2018. "The effect of parental education on child health: Quasi‐experimental evidence from a reduction in the length of primary schooling in Egypt," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 649-662, April.
    8. Anh P. Ngo, 2020. "Effects of Vietnam’s two-child policy on fertility, son preference, and female labor supply," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 751-794, July.
    9. Chen, Qihui, 2021. "Population policy, family size and child malnutrition in Vietnam – Testing the trade-off between child quantity and quality from a child nutrition perspective," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C).
    10. Millimet, Daniel & Wang, Le, 2005. "Is the Quantity-Quality Trade-off Really a Trade-off for All?," Departmental Working Papers 0502, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    11. Moshe HAZAN & Hosny ZOABI, 2015. "Sons or Daughters? Sex Preferences and the Reversal of the Gender Educational Gap," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(2), pages 179-201, June.
    12. Daniel L. Millimet & Le Wang, 2011. "Is the Quantity-Quality Trade-Off a Trade-Off for All, None, or Some?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(1), pages 155-195.
    13. Sara Cools & Rannveig Kaldager Hart, 2017. "The Effect of Childhood Family Size on Fertility in Adulthood: New Evidence From IV Estimation," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(1), pages 23-44, February.
    14. Sara Cools & Simen Markussen & Marte Strøm, 2017. "Children and Careers: How Family Size Affects Parents’ Labor Market Outcomes in the Long Run," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(5), pages 1773-1793, October.
    15. Eleanor Jawon Choi & Jisoo Hwang, 2020. "Transition of Son Preference: Evidence From South Korea," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(2), pages 627-652, April.
    16. Dasgupta, Kabir & Solomon, Keisha T., 2018. "Family size effects on childhood obesity: Evidence on the quantity-quality trade-off using the NLSY," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 42-55.
    17. Dey, Subhasish & Ghosal, Tanisha, 2021. "Can Conditional Cash Transfer Defer Child Marriage? Impact of Kanyashree Prakalpa in West Bengal, India," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1333, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    18. Anna Sibilla Francesca DE PAOLI, 2010. "The effect of schooling on fertility, labor market participation and children’s outcomes, evidence from Ecuador," Departmental Working Papers 2010-30, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    19. Bredenkamp, Caryn, 2009. "Policy-related determinants of child nutritional status in China: The effect of only-child status and access to healthcare," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 1531-1538, November.
    20. Menon, Nidhiya & McQueeney, Kathleen, 2015. "Christianity and Infant Health in India," IZA Discussion Papers 9177, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Development; Fertility; Gender; Health;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:eee:deveco:v:126:y:2017:i:c:p:19-32. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec .

    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.