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The effect of fertility decisions on excess female mortality in India

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  • Daniel Rosenblum

Abstract

In India, many parents follow son-preferring fertility-stopping rules. Stopping rules affect both the number of children and the sex composition of these children. Parents whose first child is male will stop having children sooner than parents whose first child is female. On average, parents of a first-born son will have fewer children and will have a higher proportion of sons compared to parents of a first-born daughter. An economic model in which sons bring economic benefits and daughters bring economic costs, shows the importance of sex composition on child outcomes: holding the number of siblings constant, boys are better off with sisters and girls are better off with brothers. Empirical evidence using the sex outcome of first births as a natural experiment shows that stopping rules can exacerbate discrimination, causing as much as a quarter of excess female child mortality. Another implication of the research is that the use of sex-selective abortion may lower female mortality, but raise male mortality. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Rosenblum, 2013. "The effect of fertility decisions on excess female mortality in India," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 147-180, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:26:y:2013:i:1:p:147-180
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-012-0427-7
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child mortality; Fertility; India; Sex composition; J13; J16; O12;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • 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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