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Heavy-tailedness and threshold sex determination

  • Ibragimov, Rustam
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    This paper studies the properties of the sex ratio in two-period models of threshold (e.g., polygenic or temperature-dependent) sex determination under heavy-tailedness in the framework of possibly skewed stable distributions and their convolutions. We show that if the initial distribution of the sex determining trait in such settings is moderately heavy-tailed and has a finite first moment, then an excess of males (females) in the first period leads to the same pattern in the second period. Thus, the excess of one sex over the other one accumulates over two generations and the sex ratio in the total alive population in the second period cannot stabilize at the balanced sex ratio value of 1/2. These properties are reversed for extremely heavy-tailed initial distributions of sex determining traits with infinite first moments. In such settings, the sex ratio of the offspring oscillates around the balanced sex ratio value and an excess of males (females) in the first period leads to an excess of females (males) in the second period. In addition, the sex ratio in the total living population in the second period can stabilize at 1/2 for some extremely heavy-tailed initial distributions of the sex determining trait. The results in the paper are shown to also hold for bounded sex determining phenotypes.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Statistics & Probability Letters.

    Volume (Year): 78 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 16 (November)
    Pages: 2804-2810

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:stapro:v:78:y:2008:i:16:p:2804-2810
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    1. Ibragimov, Rustam, 2007. "Thou shalt not diversity: Why "Two of Every Sort"?," Scholarly Articles 2623763, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Emily Oster, 2005. "Hepatitis B and the Case of the Missing Women," Working Papers id:266, eSocialSciences.
    3. An, Mark Yuying, 1995. "Logconcavity versus Logconvexity: A Complete Characterization," Working Papers 95-03, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    4. Rustam Ibragimov, 2005. "On Efficiency of Linear Estimators Under Heavy-Tailedness," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2085, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2007. "Rank-1/2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," NBER Technical Working Papers 0342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Rustam Ibragimov & Johan Walden, 2006. "The Limits of Diversification When Losses May Be Large," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2104, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    7. Ibragimov, Rustam & Walden, Johan, 2007. "The limits of diversification when losses may be large," Scholarly Articles 2624460, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    8. Ibragimov, Rustam & Walden, Johan, 2007. "The limits of diversification when losses may be large," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2551-2569, August.
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