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The effect of fertility decisions on excess female mortality in India

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  • Daniel Rosenblum

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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tarun Jain, 2014. "Where There Is a Will: Fertility Behavior and Sex Bias in Large Families," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(2), pages 393-423.
    2. Onur Altindag, 2015. "Son Preference, Fertility Decline and the Non-Missing Girls of Turkey," Working Papers 5, City University of New York Graduate Center, Ph.D. Program in Economics, revised 20 Mar 2016.
    3. repec:spr:jopoec:v:31:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0659-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Daniel Rosenblum, 2015. "Unintended Consequences of Women's Inheritance Rights on Female Mortality in India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(2), pages 223-248.
    5. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2018. "Religion and Abortion: The Role of Politician Identity," IZA Discussion Papers 11292, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Sonia Bhalotra & Abhishek Chakravarty & Dilip Mookherjee & Francisco J. Pino, "undated". "Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-281, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    7. Akee, Randall K. Q. & Feir, Donna, 2016. "Excess Mortality, Institutionalization and Homelessness Among Status Indians in Canada," IZA Discussion Papers 10416, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Stacey H. Chen & Yen-Chien Chen & Jin-Tan Liu, 2014. "The Impact of Family Composition on Educational Achievement," NBER Working Papers 20443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Milazzo, Annamaria, 2014. "Why are adult women missing ? son preference and maternal survival in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6802, The World Bank.
    10. Emla Fitzsimons & Bansi Malde, 2014. "Empirically probing the quantity–quality model," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 33-68, January.
    11. Anukriti, S & Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Tam, Hiu, 2016. "On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: New Evidence on Abortion, Fertility, and Parental Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 10271, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. World Bank, 2015. "India Land Governance Assessment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24420, The World Bank.
    13. Adriana D. Kugler & Santosh Kumar, 2017. "Preference for Boys, Family Size, and Educational Attainment in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(3), pages 835-859, June.
    14. Donna Feir & Randall Akee, 2018. "First People Lost: Determining the State of Status First Nations Mortality in Canada Using Administrative Data," Department Discussion Papers 1802, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
    15. Marco Alfano, 2014. "Daughters, Dowries, Deliveries:The Effect of Marital Payments on Fertility Choices in India," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1413, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child mortality; Fertility; India; Sex composition; J13; J16; O12;

    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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