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Son Preference and Children’s Housework: The Case of India

  • Tin-chi Lin

    ()

  • Alícia Adserà

    ()

We use a nationally representative survey of Indian households (NFHS-3) to conduct the first study that analyzes whether son preference is associated with girls bearing a larger burden of housework than boys. Housework is a non-negligible part of child labor in which around 60 % of children in our sample are engaged. The preference for male offspring is measured by a mother’s ideal proportion of sons among her offspring. We show that when the ideal proportion increases from 0 to 1, the gap in the time spent on weekly housework for an average girl compared to that of a boy increases by 2.5 h. We conduct several robustness analyses. First, we estimate the main model separately by caste, religion, and family size. Second, we use a two-stage model to look at participation into housework (as well as other types of work) in addition to hours. Third, we use mother’s fertility intentions as an alternative measure of son preference. The analysis confirms that stated differences in male preference translate in de facto differences in girl’s treatment. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Population Research and Policy Review.

Volume (Year): 32 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 553-584

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Handle: RePEc:kap:poprpr:v:32:y:2013:i:4:p:553-584
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