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Sibling rivalry and the gender gap: Evidence from child health outcomes in Ghana

Author

Listed:
  • Ashish Garg

    (Boston Consulting Group, London, UK)

  • Jonathan Morduch

    (Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA (Fax:)

Abstract

When capital and labor markets are imperfect, choice sets narrow, and parents must choose how to ration available funds and time between their children. One consequence is that children become rivals for household resources. In economies with pro-male bias, such rivalries can yield gains to having relatively more sisters than brothers. Using a rich household survey from Ghana, we find that on average if children had all sisters (and no brothers) they would do roughly 25-40% better on measured health indicators than if they had all brothers (and no sisters). The effects are as large as typical quantity-quality trade-offs, and they do not differ significantly by gender.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashish Garg & Jonathan Morduch, 1998. "Sibling rivalry and the gender gap: Evidence from child health outcomes in Ghana," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(4), pages 471-493.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:11:y:1998:i:4:p:471-493
    Note: Received: 22 May 1996 / Accepted: 13 July 1998
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gerald Makepeace & Sarmistha Pal, 2004. "Understanding the Effects of Sibling Composition on Child," Labor and Demography 0402004, EconWPA.
    2. Wolter, Stefan C., 2003. "Sibling Rivalry: A Six Country Comparison," IZA Discussion Papers 734, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Thomas Bauer & Ira Gang, 2001. "Sibling Rivalry in Educational Attainment: The German Case," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 15(2), pages 237-255, June.
    4. Pushkar Maitra & Sarmistha Pal, 2004. "Birth Spacing and Child Survival: Comparative Evidence from India and Pakistan," Labor and Demography 0403023, EconWPA.
    5. Pataporn Sukontamarn, 2005. "The Entry of NGO Schools and Girls’ Educational Outcomes in Bangladesh," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 10, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    6. Paul Gertler & David I. Levine & Minnie Ames, 2004. "Schooling and Parental Death," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 211-225, February.
    7. Sawada, Yasayuki & Lokshin, Michael, 2001. "Household schooling decisions in rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2541, The World Bank.
    8. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Payongayong, Ellen M. & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2004. "Are wealth transfers biased against girls?," FCND briefs 186, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Eric Edmonds, 2006. "Understanding sibling differences in child labor," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(4), pages 795-821, October.
    10. Pushkar Maitra & Sarmistha Pal, 2004. "Early Childbirth, Health Inputs and Child Mortality: Recent Evidence from Bangladesh," HEW 0411004, EconWPA.
    11. Jonathan Morduch, 2000. "Sibling Rivalry in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 405-409, May.
    12. Maitra, Pushkar & Pal, Sarmistha, 2008. "Birth spacing, fertility selection and child survival: Analysis using a correlated hazard model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 690-705, May.
    13. Abay Asfaw & Stephan Klasen & Francesca Lamanna, 2008. "Intrahousehold Health Care Financing Strategy and the Gender Gap: Empirical Evidence from India," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 177, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    14. Fafchamps, Marcel & Wahba, Jackline, 2006. "Child labor, urban proximity, and household composition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 374-397, April.
    15. Nancy Qian, 2008. "Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1251-1285.
    16. Gerald Makepeace & Sarmistha Pal, 2008. "Understanding the effects of siblings on child mortality: evidence from India," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(4), pages 877-902, October.
    17. Sarmistha Pal, 2003. "How Much of the Gender Difference in Child School Enrolment Can Be Explained? Evidence from Rural India," HEW 0309004, EconWPA.
    18. Wolter, Stefan C. & Coradi Vellacott, Maja, 2002. "Sibling Rivalry: A Look at Switzerland with PISA Data," IZA Discussion Papers 594, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Edmonds & Eric V., 2004. "Household composition and the response of child labor supply to product market integration: evidence from Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3235, The World Bank.
    20. Diane Dancer & Anu Rammohan & Murray D. Smith, 2008. "Infant mortality and child nutrition in Bangladesh," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(9), pages 1015-1035.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender gap · health · Ghana;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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