IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Gender preference and age at arrival among Asian immigrant mothers in the US


  • Ost, Ben
  • Dziadula, Eva


We examine gender preference assimilation by comparing fertility patterns of Asian immigrants according to their age at arrival. Past work has shown that U.S. natives appear to value mixed sex composition whereas families in many Asian countries exhibit a strong son preference. We find that Asian immigrants who arrive to the US late in life show evidence of son preference since they are much more likely to have additional children if their first two children are girls. Asian immigrants who arrive early in life, however, exhibit a fertility pattern quite close to that of U.S. natives. Our results are suggestive of complete assimilation of gender preferences for immigrants who arrive as children, and very little gender preference assimilation for immigrants who arrive at later ages.

Suggested Citation

  • Ost, Ben & Dziadula, Eva, 2016. "Gender preference and age at arrival among Asian immigrant mothers in the US," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 286-290.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:145:y:2016:i:c:p:286-290
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2016.06.025

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL:
    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

    1. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Kevin Milligan, 2013. "Son Preference and the Persistence of Culture: Evidence from South and East Asian Immigrants to Canada," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 39(1), pages 75-95, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2010. "Age at Arrival, English Proficiency, and Social Assimilation among US Immigrants," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 165-192, January.
    4. Jason Abrevaya, 2009. "Are There Missing Girls in the United States? Evidence from Birth Data," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 1-34, April.
    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. Eleonora Mussino & Vitor Miranda & Li Ma, 2019. "Transition to third birth among immigrant mothers in Sweden: Does having two daughters accelerate the process?," Journal of Population Research, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 81-109, June.
    2. Yigit Aydede & Marie-Claire Robitaille, 2022. "Speeding Up for a Son Among Immigrants in Canada," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 41(5), pages 2233-2265, October.
    3. Duan Huiqiong & Hicks Daniel L., 2020. "New evidence on son preference among immigrant households in the United States," IZA Journal of Development and Migration, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 11(1), pages 1-28, January.
    4. Natalie Malak & Md Mahbubur Rahman & Terry A. Yip, 2019. "Baby bonus, anyone? Examining heterogeneous responses to a pro-natalist policy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(4), pages 1205-1246, October.

    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. 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.
    2. William Jergins, 2021. "Culture and son preference: Evidence from immigrants to the United States," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 88(1), pages 168-198, July.
    3. Sonia Bhalotra & Abhishek Chakravarty & Dilip Mookherjee & Francisco J. Pino, 2019. "Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 205-237, April.
    4. 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).
    5. Sehar Ezdi & Ahmet Melik Baş, 2020. "Gender preferences and fertility: Investigating the case of Turkish immigrants in Germany," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 43(3), pages 59-96.
    6. Sivadasan, Jagadeesh & Xu, Wenjian, 2021. "Missing women in India: Gender-specific effects of early-life rainfall shocks," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).
    7. Bhalotra, Sonia & Chakravarty, Abhishek & Gulesci, Selim, 2020. "The price of gold: Dowry and death in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    8. Adamos Adamou & Christina Drakos & Sriya Iyer, 2013. "Missing women in the United Kingdom," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-19, December.
    9. Rossi, Pauline & Rouanet, Léa, 2015. "Gender Preferences in Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Choices," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 326-345.
    10. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Peter Brummund & Jason Cook & Miriam Larson-Koester, 2020. "Is there still son preference in the United States?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 709-750, July.
    11. Douglas Almond & Hongbin Li & Shuang Zhang, 2019. "Land Reform and Sex Selection in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(2), pages 560-585.
    12. Milazzo, Annamaria, 2014. "Son preference, fertility and family structure : evidence from reproductive behavior among Nigerian women," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6869, The World Bank.
    13. Libertad González Luna, 2014. "Missing girls in Spain," Economics Working Papers 1420, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    14. Chabé-Ferret, Bastien, 2019. "Adherence to cultural norms and economic incentives: Evidence from fertility timing decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 24-48.
    15. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 2014. "Exploring the population implications of male preference when the sex probabilities at birth can be altered," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(25), pages 757-778.
    16. V. Bhaskar, 2011. "Sex Selection and Gender Balance," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 214-244, February.
    17. Douglas Almond & Yi Cheng, 2020. "Perinatal Health among 1 Million Chinese-Americans," NBER Working Papers 27775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Seik Kim & Sam-Ho Lee, 2020. "Son Preference and Fertility Decisions: Evidence From Spatiotemporal Variation in Korea," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(3), pages 927-951, June.
    19. González, Libertad, 2018. "Sex selection and health at birth among Indian immigrants," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 64-75.
    20. Alicia Adserà & Ana Ferrer, 2014. "Immigrants and Demography: Marriage, Divorce, and Fertility," Working Papers 1401, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2014.

    More about this item


    Immigration; Son-preference; Assimilation; Fertility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration


    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:eee:ecolet:v:145:y:2016:i:c:p:286-290. 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: .

    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: .

    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.