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A Stochastic Dynamic Analysis of Parental Sex Preferences and Fertility

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  • Siu Fai Leung

Abstract

This paper formulates a stochastic dynamic model of fertility to evaluate the assumptions that underlie the widely used econometric tests for parental sex preferences. Unlike previous work on dynamic models of fertility, several tractable and testable predictions are established. It is shown rigorously that conventional econometric tests using fertility data are valid tests for sex preferences; however, they cannot separate son preference from daughter preference. The only definite conclusion that one can draw from fertility data is whether there are sex preferences. These results call into question the validity of conventional econometric tests for son preference.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:4:p:1063-1088.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/2937957
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    Cited by:

    1. Lambert, Sylvie & Rossi, Pauline, 2016. "Sons as widowhood insurance: Evidence from Senegal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 113-127.
    2. Ono, Hiroshi, 2000. "Are Sons and Daughters Substitutable? A Study of Intra-household Allocation of Resources in Contemporary Japan," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 397, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 10 Feb 2003.
    3. Andrew Francis, 2011. "Sex ratios and the red dragon: using the Chinese Communist Revolution to explore the effect of the sex ratio on women and children in Taiwan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 813-837, July.
    4. Vittorio Bassi & Imran Rasul, 2017. "Persuasion: A Case Study of Papal Influences on Fertility-Related Beliefs and Behavior," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 250-302, October.
    5. 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.
    6. Arindam Nandi & Ramanan Laxminarayan, 2016. "The unintended effects of cash transfers on fertility: evidence from the Safe Motherhood Scheme in India," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 457-491, April.
    7. Zhang, Junsen & Zhang, Jie & Li, Tianyou, 1999. "Gender bias and economic development in an endogenous growth model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 497-525, August.
    8. Rossi, Pauline & Rouanet, Léa, 2015. "Gender Preferences in Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Choices," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 326-345.
    9. Yamamura, Eiji, 2013. "Effects of sex preference and social pressure on fertility in changing Japanese families," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 97-104.
    10. Koohi-Kamali, Feridoon, 2008. "Intrahousehold inequality and child gender bias in Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4755, The World Bank.
    11. 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.
    12. Karbownik, Krzysztof & Myck, Michal, 2012. "For Some Mothers More Than Others: How Children Matter for Labour Market Outcomes When Both Fertility and Female Employment Are Low," IZA Discussion Papers 6933, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Kelly Bedard & Olivier Deschênes, 2005. "Sex Preferences, Marital Dissolution, and the Economic Status of Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
    14. Michael Leung & Junsen Zhang, 2008. "Gender preference, biased sex ratio, and parental investments in single-child households," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 91-110, June.
    15. Gordon B. Dahl & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Demand for Sons: Evidence from Divorce, Fertility, and Shotgun Marriage," NBER Working Papers 10281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Ono, Hiroshi, 2004. "Are sons and daughters substitutable?: Allocation of family resources in contemporary Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 143-160, June.
    17. Arindam Nandi & Ramanan Laxminarayan, 2016. "The unintended effects of cash transfers on fertility: evidence from the Safe Motherhood Scheme in India," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 457-491, April.
    18. Li, Wenchao & Yi, Junjian, 2015. "The Competitive Earning Incentive for Sons: Evidence from Migration in China," IZA Discussion Papers 9214, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Chew, Soo Hong & Yi, Junjian & Zhang, Junsen & Zhong, Songfa, 2017. "Risk Aversion and Son Preference: Experimental Evidence from Chinese Twin Parents," IZA Discussion Papers 10519, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. 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.
    21. Nzinga Broussard & Ralph Chami & Gregory Hess, 2015. "(Why) Do self-employed parents have more children?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 297-321, June.

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