Does child gender affect marital status? Evidence from Australia
Pooling microdata from five Australian censuses, I explore the relationship between child gender and divorce. By contrast with the United States, I find no evidence that the gender of the first child has a significant impact on the decision to marry or divorce. However, among two-child families, parents with two children of the same sex are 1.7 percentage points less likely to be married than parents with a boy and a girl. Surveys of parental attitudes suggest that this effect is more likely to be driven by fathers than by mothers. This finding is not consistent with theories of preference for sons over daughters, differential costs, role models or complementary costs, but is consistent with a theory of parity preference.
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Volume (Year): 22 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
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References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Bedard, Kelly & Deschenes, Olivier, 2003.
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University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series
qt07g2372x, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
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- Lundberg, Shelly, 2005. "The Division of Labor by New Parents: Does Child Gender Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 1787, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Elizabeth O. Ananat & Guy Michaels, 2007.
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LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
51601, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Elizabeth O. Ananat & Guy Michaels, 2008. "The Effect of Marital Breakup on the Income Distribution of Women with Children," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 611-629.
- Elizabeth Ananat & Guy Michaels, 2007. "The effect of marital breakup on the income distribution of women with children," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3273, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Elizabeth O. Ananat & Guy Michaels, 2007. "The Effect of Marital Breakup on the Income Distribution of Women with Children," CEP Discussion Papers dp0787, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Ananat, Elizabeth O. & Michaels, Guy, 2007. "The Effect of Marital Breakup on the Income Distribution of Women with Children," CEPR Discussion Papers 6228, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Andrew Leigh, 2009.
"Does child gender affect marital status? Evidence from Australia,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 351-366, April.
- Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-87, December.
- Ben-Porath, Yoram & Welch, Finis, 1976. "Do Sex Preferences Really Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 285-307, May.
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