IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Tackling Daughter Deficits in Tamil Nadu, India

Listed author(s):
  • Arjun Singh Bedi


  • Sharada Srinivasan


A well-known demographic feature in several East and South Asian countries is the continuing decline in the proportion of girls to boys. In India, till recently, the skewed sex ratio was treated as a Northern and Western Indian phenomenon. However, analysis of the 2001 Census shows that some of the districts with the most unbalanced sex ratios lie in the Southern state of Tamil Nadu. Notwithstanding its recent addition to the list of states exhibiting daughter deficit, the state has pioneered initiatives to prevent daughter elimination and to measure daughter deficit. The availability of district-level panel data on infant mortality and sex ratio at birth covering the years 1996-1999 and 2003, periods which may be characterized by sharp differences in programs and initiatives to reduce daughter elimination combined with spatial variation in these programs, provides an unusual opportunity to identify the causal effect of interventions on both, pre- and post-birth daughter deficit. We find evidence of daughter deficit in at least half the state’s districts with a majority of the deficit (60 to 70 percent) occurring before birth, potentially due to sex selective abortion as compared to after birth due to female infanticide and neglect. The temporal analysis over the period 1996-1999 and 2003, shows a 46 percent decline in post-birth deficit, without a corresponding increase in pre-birth deficit. Our difference-in-differences estimates suggest that at least 79 percent of the decline in post-birth deficit may be attributed to the set of policy interventions pursued by the state and civil society actors.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University in its series CEDI Discussion Paper Series with number 09-07.

in new window

Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Handle: RePEc:edb:cedidp:09-07
Contact details of provider: Postal:
CEDI, Brunel University,West London,UB8 3PH,United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)1895 266649
Fax: +44 (0)1895 266649
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:edb:cedidp:09-07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sarmistha Pal)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.