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On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: Fertility, Parental Investments, and Mortality

Author

Listed:
  • S Anukriti

    () (Boston College
    IZA)

  • Sonia Bhalotra

    () (University of Essex)

  • Hiu Tam

    () (University of Oxford)

Abstract

The introduction of prenatal sex-detection technologies in India has led to a phenomenal increase in abortion of female fetuses. We examine fertility and investment responses to these technologies. We find a moderation of son-biased fertility stopping, erosion of gender gaps in parental investments in breastfeeding and immunization, and convergence in the under-5 mor- tality rates of boys and girls. For every three aborted girls, roughly one additional girl survives to age five. We also find a shift in the distribution of girls in favor of low-socioeconomic status families. Our findings have implications not only for counts of missing girls but also for the later life outcomes of girls conditioned by greater early life investments in them.

Suggested Citation

  • S Anukriti & Sonia Bhalotra & Hiu Tam, 2018. "On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: Fertility, Parental Investments, and Mortality," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 950, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:950
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Anke Becker, 2019. "On the Economic Origins of Restrictions on Women's Sexuality," CESifo Working Paper Series 7770, CESifo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    abortion; child mortality; fertility; gender; health; India; missing girls; parental investments; prenatal sex detection; sex-selection; ultrasound;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • 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

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