IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/wdevel/v72y2015icp326-345.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Gender Preferences in Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Choices

Author

Listed:
  • Rossi, Pauline
  • Rouanet, Léa

Abstract

This paper proposes a new method to infer gender preferences from birth spacing. We apply it to Africa, where the least is known about gender preferences. We show that son preference is strong and increasing in North Africa. By contrast, most Sub-Saharan African countries display a preference for variety or no preference at all. Further analysis concludes that traditional family systems predict well the nature of gender preferences, while religion does not. Last, the magnitude of preferences is stronger for wealthier and more educated women.

Suggested Citation

  • Rossi, Pauline & Rouanet, Léa, 2015. "Gender Preferences in Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Choices," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 326-345.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:72:y:2015:i:c:p:326-345
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2015.03.010
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X15000698
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Lambert, Sylvie & Rossi, Pauline, 2016. "Sons as widowhood insurance: Evidence from Senegal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 113-127.
    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. 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.
    5. Magnus Hatlebakk, 2017. "Son Preference, Number of Children, Education and Occupational Choice in Rural Nepal," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 1-20, February.
    6. repec:cai:poeine:pope_306_0687 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Rohini Pande, 2003. "Selective gender differences in childhood nutrition and immunization in rural India: The role of siblings," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(3), pages 395-418, August.
    8. Lata Gangadharan & Pushkar Maitra, 2003. "Testing for Son Preference in South Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(3), pages 371-416, September.
    9. Seema Jayachandran, 2017. "Fertility Decline and Missing Women," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 118-139, January.
    10. Elaina Rose, 1999. "Consumption Smoothing and Excess Female Mortality in Rural India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 41-49, February.
    11. Koolwal, Gayatri B., 2007. "Son Preference and Child Labor in Nepal: The Household Impact of Sending Girls to Work," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 881-903, May.
    12. Alaka Malwade Basu, 1999. "Fertility Decline and Increasing Gender Imbalance in India, Including a Possible South Indian Turnaround," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 30(2), pages 237-263, April.
    13. Flatø, Martin & Kotsadam, Andreas, 2014. "Droughts and Gender Bias in Infant Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa," Memorandum 02/2014, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    14. Shelley Clark, 2000. "Son preference and sex composition of children: Evidence from india," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(1), pages 95-108, February.
    15. DaVanzo, J. & Rahman, M., 1993. "Gender Preference and Birthspacing in Matlab, Bangladesh," Papers 93-04, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    16. 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.
    17. Siu Fai Leung, 1991. "A Stochastic Dynamic Analysis of Parental Sex Preferences and Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1063-1088.
    18. Lena Edlund & Chulhee Lee, 2013. "Son Preference, Sex Selection and Economic Development: The Case of South Korea," NBER Working Papers 18679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. 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.
    20. Wen-Jen Tsay & C. Y. Cyrus Chu, 2005. "The pattern of birth spacing during Taiwan's demographic transition," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(2), pages 323-336, June.
    21. P. Bhat & A. Zavier, 2003. "Fertility decline and gender bias in," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(4), pages 637-657, November.
    22. Cohen, Barney, 1998. "The emerging fertility transition in sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 1431-1461, August.
    23. Daniele Vignoli, 2006. "Fertility change in Egypt: from second to third birth," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-011, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    24. WHO & UNICEF & UNFPA & World Bank & United Nations Population Division, 2014. "Trends in Maternal Mortality : 1990 to 2013," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 18203, Juni.
    25. Stephan Klasen, 1996. "Nutrition, health and mortality in sub‐Saharan Africa: Is there a gender bias?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(6), pages 913-932.
    26. Pong, S.L., 1994. "Sex Preference and Fertility in Peninsular Malaysia," Papers 94-13, RAND - Reprint Series.
    27. 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.
    28. Mizanur Rahman & Julie DaVanzo, 1993. "Gender preference and birth spacing in matlab, Bangladesh," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(3), pages 315-332, August.
    29. Daniele Vignoli, 2006. "Fertility change in Egypt," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 15(18), pages 499-516.
    30. Deepankar Basu & Robert Jong, 2010. "Son targeting fertility behavior: Some consequences and determinants," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(2), pages 521-536, May.
    31. Siwan Anderson & Debraj Ray, 2010. "Missing Women: Age and Disease," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1262-1300.
    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. Clifford O. Odimegwu & Joshua O. Akinyemi & Nicole Wet, 2017. "Premarital birth, children’s sex composition and marital instability among women in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Population Research, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 327-346, December.
    2. Pauline Rossi, 2019. "Strategic Choices in Polygamous Households: Theory and Evidence from Senegal," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(3), pages 1332-1370.
    3. Haile, Kaleab & Tirivayi, Nyasha & Nillesen, Eleonora, 2019. "Climate shocks, coping responses and gender gap in human development," MERIT Working Papers 2019-052, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    4. Harttgen, Kenneth & Lang, Stefan & Seiler, Johannes, 2019. "Selective mortality and the anthropometric status of children in low- and middle-income countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 257-273.
    5. Rashid Javed & Mazhar Mughal, 2019. "Have a Son, Gain a Voice: Son Preference and Female Participation in Household Decision Making," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(12), pages 2526-2548, December.
    6. Emily Smith-Greenaway, 2020. "Does Parents’ Union Instability Disrupt Intergenerational Advantage? An Analysis of Sub-Saharan Africa," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(2), pages 445-473, April.
    7. Martin Flatø, 2018. "The Differential Mortality of Undesired Infants in Sub-Saharan Africa," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(1), pages 271-294, February.
    8. Basedau, Matthias & Gobien, Simone & Prediger, Sebastian, 2017. "The Ambivalent Role of Religion for Sustainable Development: A Review of the Empirical Evidence," GIGA Working Papers 297, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    9. Matthias Basedau & Simone Gobien & Sebastian Prediger, 2018. "The Multidimensional Effects Of Religion On Socioeconomic Development: A Review Of The Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 1106-1133, September.
    10. Sarah Deschênes & Rozenn Hotte, 2019. "Assessing the Effects of an Education Policy on Women's Well-being: Evidence from Benin," PSE Working Papers halshs-02179704, HAL.
    11. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 2018. "A Theory of Social Norms, Women's Time Allocation, and Gender Inequality in the Process of Development," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 237, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    12. 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.
    13. Sarah Deschênes & Rozenn Hotte, 2019. "Assessing the Effects of an Education Policy on Women's Well-being: Evidence from Benin," Working Papers halshs-02179704, HAL.
    14. Kenneth Harttgen & Stefan Lang & Johannes Seiler, 2017. "Selective mortality and undernutrition in low- and middle-income countries," Working Papers 2017-27, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck, revised Aug 2018.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender preferences; fertility; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • 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
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

    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:wdevel:v:72:y:2015:i:c:p:326-345. 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: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev .

    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.