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Son-preference, number of children, education and occupational choice in rural Nepal


  • Magnus Hatlebakk


A unique family survey was conducted in Nepal to investigate the economic consequences of having a first-born girl. Women get more children, but we find no causal effect of number of children on economic outcomes. But independently of the number of children there is a positive effect on boys' education of having a first born sister, who presumably takes care of household work so the boys can focus on school. This indicates a stronger son-preference in Nepal than what is found in studies from neighboring countries.

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  • Magnus Hatlebakk, 2012. "Son-preference, number of children, education and occupational choice in rural Nepal," CMI Working Papers 8, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  • Handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2012-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Monica Das Gupta & Jiang Zhenghua & Li Bohua & Xie Zhenming & Woojin Chung & Bae Hwa-Ok, 2003. "Why is Son preference so persistent in East and South Asia? a cross-country study of China, India and the Republic of Korea," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(2), pages 153-187.
    2. Yoram Ben-Porath & Finis Welch, 1976. "Do Sex Preferences Really Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 90(2), pages 285-307.
    3. Daouli, Joan & Demoussis, Michael & Giannakopoulos, Nicholas, 2009. "Sibling-sex composition and its effects on fertility and labor supply of Greek mothers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 189-191, March.
    4. Emerson, Patrick M. & Souza, André Portela, 2008. "Birth Order, Child Labor, and School Attendance in Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1647-1664, September.
    5. Sawada, Yasuyuki & Lokshin, Michael, 2009. "Obstacles to school progression in rural Pakistan: An analysis of gender and sibling rivalry using field survey data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 335-347, March.
    6. Vladimir Ponczek & Andre Portela Souza, 2012. "New Evidence of the Causal Effect of Family Size on Child Quality in a Developing Country," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(1), pages 64-106.
    7. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2010. "Multiple Experiments for the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 773-824, October.
    8. repec:cai:poeine:pope_801_0009 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Magnus Hatlebakk, 2009. "Capacity‐constrained Collusive Price Discrimination in the Informal Rural Credit Markets of Nepal," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 70-86, February.
    10. Masako Ota & Peter Moffatt, 2007. "The within-household schooling decision: a study of children in rural Andhra Pradesh," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(1), pages 223-239, February.
    11. Njård Håkon Gudbrandsen, 2010. "The impact of wealth and female autonomy on fertility decisions in Nepal: An econometric analysis," CMI Working Papers 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    12. Deepankar Basu & Robert Jong, 2010. "Son targeting fertility behavior: Some consequences and determinants," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(2), pages 521-536, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Libois, François & Somville, Vincent, 2018. "Fertility, household size and poverty in Nepal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 311-322.
    2. Rossi, Pauline & Rouanet, Léa, 2015. "Gender Preferences in Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Choices," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 326-345.
    3. Bussolo,Maurizio & Ezebuihe,Jessy Amarachi & Munoz Boudet,Ana Maria & Poupakis,Stavros & Rahman,Tasmia & Sarma,Nayantara, 2022. "Social Norms and Gender Equality : A Descriptive Analysis for South Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 10142, The World Bank.
    4. Asadullah, M. Niaz & Mansoor, Nazia & Randazzo, Teresa & Wahhaj, Zaki, 2021. "Is son preference disappearing from Bangladesh?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    5. Saqib Jafarey & Ram Mainali & Gabriel Montes‐Rojas, 2020. "Age at marriage, social norms, and female education in Nepal," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 878-909, August.
    6. Magnus Hatlebakk & Yogendra B. Gurung, 2016. "Female empowerment and the education of children in Nepal," Journal of Developing Areas, Tennessee State University, College of Business, vol. 50(2), pages 1-19, April-Jun.
    7. Valentine Becquet & Nicolás Sacco & Ignacio Pardo, 2022. "Disparities in Gender Preference and Fertility: Southeast Asia and Latin America in a Comparative Perspective," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 41(3), pages 1295-1323, June.

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