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The Changing Status of Daughters in Indonesia

  • Kevane, Michael
  • Levine, David I.

In many nations, parents exhibit a variety of behaviors that favor sons over daughters. In this paper we provide evidence suggesting that in Indonesia there is no problem of “missing daughters†and that patterns of births, birth spacing and nutrition allocations do not suggest son preference during the cohorts born from 1940’s to the 1990’s. In contrast, gender differences in educational attainment and inheritance were quite prevalent in the recent past. These gaps have narrowed for secondary education and inheritance, and disappeared for primary education. In many nations, parents exhibit a variety of behaviors that favor sons over daughters. In this paper we provide evidence suggesting that in Indonesia there is no problem of “missing daughters†and that patterns of births, birth spacing and nutrition allocations do not suggest son preference during the cohorts born from 1940’s to the 1990’s. In contrast, gender differences in educational attainment and inheritance were quite prevalent in the recent past. These gaps have narrowed for secondary education and inheritance, and disappeared for primary education.

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Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt09m817c0.

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Date of creation: 20 Nov 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt09m817c0
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  1. Robert Kaestner, 1996. "Are Brothers Really Better? Sibling Sex Composition and Educational Achievement Revisited," NBER Working Papers 5521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. DaVanzo, J. & Rahman, M., 1993. "Gender Preference and Birthspacing in Matlab, Bangladesh," Papers 93-04, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  3. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cameron, L., 1998. "The Residency Decision of Elderly Indonesians: A Nested Logit Analysis," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 638, The University of Melbourne.
  5. Elizabeth Frankenberg & Duncan Thomas & Kathleen Beegle, 1999. "The Real Costs of Indonesian Economic Crisis: Preliminary Findings from the Indonesia Family Life Surveys," Working Papers 99-04, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  6. Mizanur Rahman & Julie DaVanzo, 1993. "Gender preference and birth spacing in matlab, Bangladesh," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 315-332, August.
  7. Butcher, Kristin F & Case, Anne, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-63, August.
  8. Cameron, Lisa A & Worswick, Christopher, 2001. "Education Expenditure Responses to Crop Loss in Indonesia: A Gender Bias," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 351-63, January.
  9. Ansley Coale & Judith Banister, 1994. "Five decades of missing females in China," Demography, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 459-479, August.
  10. Robert M. Hauser & Hsiang-Hui Daphne Kuo, 1998. "Does the Gender Composition of Sibships Affect Women's Educational Attainment?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 644-657.
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