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Female Autonomy and Fertility in Nepal


  • NjÃ¥rd HÃ¥kon Gudbrandsen


We explore the effect of female autonomy on individual fertility in Nepal. We find that families where wives have high level of autonomy have fewer children than other families. Using gender of the first child as a natural experiment, we also find that son preferences are present in Nepal. Moreover, the results indicate that women have more influence when the first born is a boy, compared to when the first child is a girl. We discuss policy implications with respect to the problem of excess children due to son preference.

Suggested Citation

  • NjÃ¥rd HÃ¥kon Gudbrandsen, 2013. "Female Autonomy and Fertility in Nepal," South Asia Economic Journal, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, vol. 14(1), pages 157-173, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:soueco:v:14:y:2013:i:1:p:157-173

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    Cited by:

    1. Libois, François & Somville, Vincent, 2018. "Fertility, household size and poverty in Nepal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 311-322.

    More about this item


    Fertility; empowerment of women; son preference;

    JEL classification:

    • D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


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