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Gender of Children, Bargaining Power, and Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in China

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  • Lixing Li
  • Xiaoyu Wu

Abstract

Based on the prevalent son preference in China, this paper proposes a new measure of relative bargaining power within the household. Using data from China Health and Nutrition Survey, we show that a woman with a first-born son has a 3.9 percentage points’ greater role in household decision-making than a woman with a first-born daughter. Having a first-born son improves the mother’s nutrition intakes and reduces her likelihood of being underweight. While thinking of these impacts as being channeled through intrahousehold bargaining power, we cannot fully rule out other possible direct effects of a first-born son on the outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Lixing Li & Xiaoyu Wu, 2011. "Gender of Children, Bargaining Power, and Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in China," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(2), pages 295-316.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2011:ii:1:p:295-316
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Hong & Zhao, Zhong, 2014. "Parental job loss and children's health: Ten years after the massive layoff of the SOEs' workers in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 303-319.
    2. Nuhu, Ahmed Salim, 2015. "Intra-Household Bargaining and Child Health Outcomes: Do Domestic Violence Laws Matter?," MPRA Paper 68630, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Samantha B. Rawlings, 2015. "Parental education and child health: Evidence from an education reform in China," CINCH Working Paper Series 1511, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health, revised Aug 2015.
    4. Dirk Bethmann & Robert Rudolf, 2015. "Happily ever after? Intrahousehold bargaining and the distribution of utility within marriage," Discussion Paper Series 1503, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
    5. Doss, Cheryl, 2013. "Intrahousehold bargaining and resource allocation in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6337, The World Bank.
    6. Xiaoyu Wu & Lixing Li, 2012. "Family size and maternal health: evidence from the One-Child policy in China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 1341-1364, October.
    7. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:311-322 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Li, Wenchao & Song, Changcheng & Xu, Shu & Yi, Junjian, 2017. "Household Portfolio Choice, Reference Dependence, and the Marriage Market," IZA Discussion Papers 10528, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. repec:eee:chieco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:165-179 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Ding, Weili & Zhang, Yuan, 2014. "When a son is born: The impact of fertility patterns on family finance in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 192-208.
    11. repec:bla:revinw:v:63:y:2017:i:2:p:378-393 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:jeborg:v:145:y:2018:i:c:p:249-260 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Libois, François & Somville, Vincent, 2018. "Fertility, household size and poverty in Nepal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 311-322.
    14. Li, Wenchao & Yi, Junjian, 2015. "The Competitive Earning Incentive for Sons: Evidence from Migration in China," IZA Discussion Papers 9214, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Xing Li & M. W. Luke Chan & Byron G. Spencer & Wei Yang, 2016. "Does the marriage market sex ratio affect parental sex selection? Evidence from the Chinese census," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 1063-1082, October.
    16. Avinash Kishore & Dean Spears, 2014. "Having a Son Promotes Clean Cooking Fuel Use in Urban India: Women's Status and Son Preference," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(4), pages 673-699.
    17. Xiaodong Fan & Hanming Fang & Simen Markussen, 2015. "Mothers' Employment and Children's Educational Gender Gap," NBER Working Papers 21183, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Magnus Hatlebakk & Yogendra B. Gurung, 2014. "Female empowerment and education of children in Nepal," CMI Working Papers 7, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    19. Kang, Lili & Peng, Fei, 2012. "Siblings, public facilities and education returns in China," MPRA Paper 38922, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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