IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/gii/giihei/heidwp15-2021.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Seen and the Unseen: Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Prenatal Sex Selection

Author

Abstract

How is prenatal sex selective behaviour influenced by the presence of cheap fetal gender identification technology and financial incentives? We analyze a conditional cash transfer program in India called Janani Suraksha Yojna. By providing access to prenatal sex detection technology like the ultrasound scans, and simultaneously providing cash incentives to both households and community health workers for every live birth, this program altered existing trends in prenatal sex selection. Using difference-in-differences and triple difference estimators we find that the policy led to an increase in female births. This improvement comes at a cost, as we observe an increase in under-5 mortality for girls born at higher birth orders, indicating a shift in discrimination against girls from pre-natal to post-natal. Our calculations show that the net effect of the policy was that nearly 300,000 more girls survived in treatment households between 2006 and 2015. Finally, we find that the role played by community health workers in facilitating the program is a key driver of the decline in prenatal sex selection.

Suggested Citation

  • Sayli Javadekar & Kritika Saxena, 2021. "The Seen and the Unseen: Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Prenatal Sex Selection," IHEID Working Papers 15-2021, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heidwp15-2021
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://repec.graduateinstitute.ch/pdfs/Working_papers/HEIDWP15-2021.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Valente, Christine, 2014. "Access to abortion, investments in neonatal health, and sex-selection: Evidence from Nepal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 225-243.
    2. Pablo A. Celhay & Paul J. Gertler & Paula Giovagnoli & Christel Vermeersch, 2019. "Long-Run Effects of Temporary Incentives on Medical Care Productivity," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 92-127, July.
    3. Arindam Nandi & Ramanan Laxminarayan, 2016. "The unintended effects of cash transfers on fertility: evidence from the Safe Motherhood Scheme in India," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 457-491, April.
    4. S Anukriti & Sonia Bhalotra & Eddy H F Tam, 2022. "On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: Fertility, Parental Investments and Mortality [Are there missing girls in the United States? Evidence from birth data]," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 132(641), pages 1-36.
    5. Shelley Clark, 2000. "Son preference and sex composition of children: Evidence from india," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(1), pages 95-108, February.
    6. Yuyu Chen & Hongbin Li & Lingsheng Meng, 2013. "Prenatal Sex Selection and Missing Girls in China: Evidence from the Diffusion of Diagnostic Ultrasound," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(1), pages 36-70.
    7. Alma Cohen & Rajeev Dehejia & Dmitri Romanov, 2013. "Financial Incentives and Fertility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 1-20, March.
    8. Ridhi Kashyap, 2019. "Is prenatal sex selection associated with lower female child mortality?," Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 73(1), pages 57-78, January.
    9. Martina Björkman Nyqvist & Andrea Guariso & Jakob Svensson & David Yanagizawa-Drott, 2019. "Reducing Child Mortality in the Last Mile: Experimental Evidence on Community Health Promoters in Uganda," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 155-192, July.
    10. Roy, Sanchari, 2015. "Empowering women? Inheritance rights, female education and dowry payments in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 233-251.
    11. Bhalotra, Sonia & Chakravarty, Abhishek & Gulesci, Selim, 2020. "The price of gold: Dowry and death in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    12. Nina Buchmann & Erica M. Field & Rachel Glennerster & Reshmaan N. Hussam, 2019. "Throwing the Baby out with the Drinking Water: Unintended Consequences of Arsenic Mitigation Efforts in Bangladesh," NBER Working Papers 25729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Seema Jayachandran & Rohini Pande, 2017. "Why Are Indian Children So Short? The Role of Birth Order and Son Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(9), pages 2600-2629, September.
    14. Robert Jensen, 2012. "Another Mouth to Feed? The Effects of (In)Fertility on Malnutrition," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 58(2), pages 322-347, June.
    15. Daniel Rosenblum, 2013. "The effect of fertility decisions on excess female mortality in India," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 147-180, January.
    16. Siwan Anderson & Debraj Ray, 2010. "Missing Women: Age and Disease," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1262-1300.
    17. Seema Jayachandran & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2011. "Why Do Mothers Breastfeed Girls Less than Boys? Evidence and Implications for Child Health in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1485-1538.
    18. Sekhri, Sheetal & Storeygard, Adam, 2014. "Dowry deaths: Response to weather variability in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 212-223.
    19. Sinha, Nistha & Yoong, Joanne, 2009. "Long-term financial incentives and investment in daughters : evidence from conditional cash transfers in north India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4860, The World Bank.
    20. Douglas Almond & Hongbin Li & Shuang Zhang, 2019. "Land Reform and Sex Selection in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(2), pages 560-585.
    21. Nistha Sinha & Joanne K. Yoong, 2009. "Long-Term Financial Incentives and Investment in Daughters Evidence From Conditional Cash Transfers In North India," Working Papers WR-667, RAND Corporation.
    22. Sinha, Nistha & Yoong, Joanne, 2009. "Long-term financial incentives and investment in daughters : evidence from conditional cash transfers in north India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4860, The World Bank.
    23. Elaina Rose, 1999. "Consumption Smoothing and Excess Female Mortality in Rural India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 41-49, February.
    24. Bhalotra, Sonia & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2021. "Religion and abortion: The role of politician identity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C).
    25. Arindam Nandi & Ramanan Laxminarayan, 2016. "The unintended effects of cash transfers on fertility: evidence from the Safe Motherhood Scheme in India," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 457-491, April.
    26. Narayan Das, 1987. "Sex preference and fertility behavior: A study of recent Indian data," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 24(4), pages 517-530, November.
    27. S Anukriti, 2018. "Financial Incentives and the Fertility-Sex Ratio Trade-Off," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 27-57, April.
    28. Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junjian Yi & Junsen Zhang, 2013. "Sex Ratios and Crime: Evidence from China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1520-1534, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bhalotra, Sonia & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2021. "Religion and abortion: The role of politician identity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C).
    2. Bhalotra, Sonia & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2021. "Religion and Abortion: The Role of Politician Identity," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 582, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    3. Ridhi Kashyap & Julia Behrman, 2020. "Gender Discrimination and Excess Female Under-5 Mortality in India: A New Perspective Using Mixed-Sex Twins," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(6), pages 2143-2167, December.
    4. Qianqian Shang & Quanbao Jiang & Yongkun Yin, 2022. "How Does Children's Sex Affect Parental Sex Preference: Preference Adaptation and Learning," Working Papers wp2022_2202, CEMFI.
    5. Ebert, Cara & Vollmer, Sebastian, 2022. "Girls unwanted – The role of parents’ child-specific sex preference for children’s early mental development," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    6. S Anukriti & Sonia Bhalotra & Eddy H F Tam, 2022. "On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: Fertility, Parental Investments and Mortality [Are there missing girls in the United States? Evidence from birth data]," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 132(641), pages 1-36.
    7. Chatterjee, Jagori & Merfeld, Joshua D., 2021. "Protecting girls from droughts with social safety nets," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    8. Chatterjee, Jagori & Merfeld, Joshua D., 2020. "Protecting Girls from Droughts with Social Safety Nets," IZA Discussion Papers 13694, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Bhalotra, Sonia & Chakravarty, Abhishek & Gulesci, Selim, 2020. "The price of gold: Dowry and death in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    10. Fenske, James & Gupta, Bishnupriya & Neumann, Cora, 2022. "Missing women in Colonial India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 613, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    11. Anukriti, S & Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Tam, Hiu, 2016. "On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: New Evidence on Abortion, Fertility, and Parental Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 10271, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Anukriti, S. & Kwon, Sungoh & Prakash, Nishith, 2022. "Saving for dowry: Evidence from rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C).
    13. Fenske, James & Gupta, Bishnupriya & Neumann, Cora, 2022. "Missing women in Colonial India," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1402, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    14. Xiaojia Bao & Sebastian Galiani & Kai Li & Cheryl Long, 2019. "Where Have All the Children Gone? An Empirical Study of Child Abandonment and Abduction in China," NBER Working Papers 26492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Sonia Bhalotra & Abhishek Chakravarty & Dilip Mookherjee & Francisco J. Pino, 2019. "Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 205-237, April.
    16. Sivadasan, Jagadeesh & Xu, Wenjian, 2021. "Missing women in India: Gender-specific effects of early-life rainfall shocks," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).
    17. Milazzo, Annamaria, 2018. "Why are adult women missing? Son preference and maternal survival in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 467-484.
    18. S Anukriti & Sungoh Kwon & Nishith Prakash, 2018. "Household Savings and Marriage Payments: Evidence from Dowry in India," Working papers 2018-09, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    19. S. Anukriti, 2013. "The Fertility-Sex Ratio Tradeoff: Unintended Consequences of Financial Incentives," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 827, Boston College Department of Economics.
    20. Aparajita Dasgupta & Anisha Sharma, 2021. "Can Legal Bans on Sex Detection Technology Reduce Gender Discrimination?," Working Papers 58, Ashoka University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sex selection; gender; health; India; missing girls; prenatal sex detection; sex-selection; community health workers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heidwp15-2021. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ieheich.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Dorina Dobre (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ieheich.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.