Prenatal sex selection and girls’ well-being? evidence from India
The paper studies the impact of prenatal sex selection on the well-being of girls by analyzing changes in children’s nutritional status and mortality during the years since the diffusion of sex-selective abortion in India. We use the ratio of male to female births in the year and state in which a child was born as a proxy for parental access to prenatal sex-selection. Using repeated cross-sections from a rich survey dataset, we show that high sex ratios at birth reflect the practice of sex-selective abortion. We then exploit the large regional and time variations in the incidence of sex-selective abortion to analyze whether changes in girls’ outcomes relative to boys within states and over time are associated with changes in sex-ratios at birth. We find that an increase in the practice of sex-selective abortion appears to be associated with a reduction in the incidence of malnutrition among girls. The negative association is stronger for girls born in rural households and at higher birth parities. We find no evidence that sex-selective abortion leads to a selection of girls into families of higher SES, however we do find some evidence of a larger reduction in family size for girls relative to boys. We also find some suggestive evidence of better treatment of girls as reflected in breast feeding duration. On the other hand, sex-selective abortion does not appear to be associated with a reduction in excess female child mortality.
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"Where have all the young girls gone? Identification of sex selection in India,"
The Centre for Market and Public Organisation
10/254, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
- Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Cochrane, Tom, 2010. "Where Have All the Young Girls Gone? Identification of Sex Selection in India," IZA Discussion Papers 5381, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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756, RAND Corporation.
- Silvia Helena Barcellos & Leandro S. Carvalho & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2014. "Child Gender and Parental Investments in India: Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 157-189, January.
- Silvia H. Barcellos & Leandro Carvalho & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2012. "Child Gender And Parental Investments In India: Are Boys And Girls Treated Differently?," NBER Working Papers 17781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ming-Jen Lin & Nancy Qian & Jin-Tan Liu, 2008.
"More Women Missing, Fewer Girls Dying: The Impact of Abortion on Sex Ratios at Birth and Excess Female Mortality in Taiwan,"
NBER Working Papers
14541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lin, Ming-Jen & Liu, Jin-Tan & Qian, Nancy, 2008. "More Women Missing, Fewer Girls Dying: The Impact of Abortion on Sex Ratios at Birth and Excess Female Mortality in Taiwan," CEPR Discussion Papers 6667, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Siwan Anderson, 2003. "Why Dowry Payments Declined with Modernization in Europe but Are Rising in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 269-310, April.
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