Can Biological Factors Like Hepatitis B Explain the Bulk of Gender Imbalance in China? A Review of the Evidence
A recent study challenges the assumption that the large deficit of girls in East and South Asia reflects the preference for sons, suggesting that much of the deficit--as much as 75 percent in China--is attributable to hepatitis B (HBV). The claim is inconsistent with the results of a study based on a large medical data set from Taiwan (China), which indicates that HBV infection raises a woman's probability of having a son by only 0.25 percent. In addition, demographic data from China show that the only group of women who have elevated probabilities of bearing sons are those who have already borne daughters. This pattern makes it difficult to see how any biological factor can explain a large part of the imbalance in China's sex ratios at birth, unless it can be shown that it somehow selectively affects those who have borne girls or causes them to first bear girls and then boys. The Taiwanese example suggests that this is not the case with HBV, the impact of which is unaffected by the sex composition of previous births. The data thus support the cultural rather than the biological explanation for gender imbalance. Copyright The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / the world bank . All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Oxford University Press.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 23 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://wbro.oxfordjournals.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:23:y:2008:i:2:p:201-217. 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: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.