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Gender Preferences in Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Choices

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  • Pauline Rossi

    (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE Paris - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Léa Rouanet

    (LMI - Laboratoire de microéconomie - Centre de Recherche en Économie et STatistique (CREST), PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

Abstract

This paper proposes a new method to infer gender preferences from birth spacing. We apply it to Africa, where the least is known about gender preferences. We show that son preference is strong and increasing in North Africa. By contrast, most Sub-Saharan African countries display a preference for variety or no preference at all. Further analysis concludes that traditional family systems predict well the nature of gender preferences, while religion does not. Last, the magnitude of preferences is stronger for wealthier and more educated women.

Suggested Citation

  • Pauline Rossi & Léa Rouanet, 2015. "Gender Preferences in Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Choices," Working Papers halshs-01074934, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01074934
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01074934v2
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

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    2. Rashid Javed & Mazhar Mughal, 2019. "Have a Son, Gain a Voice: Son Preference and Female Participation in Household Decision Making," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(12), pages 2526-2548, December.
    3. Clifford O. Odimegwu & Joshua O. Akinyemi & Nicole Wet, 2017. "Premarital birth, children’s sex composition and marital instability among women in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Population Research, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 327-346, December.
    4. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay & Elliott Green, 2021. "Explaining inter‐ethnic marriage in Sub‐Saharan Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(4), pages 627-643, May.
    5. Pauline Rossi, 2019. "Strategic Choices in Polygamous Households: Theory and Evidence from Senegal," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(3), pages 1332-1370.
    6. Sarah Deschênes & Rozenn Hotte, 2019. "Assessing the Effects of an Education Policy on Women's Well-being: Evidence from Benin," Working Papers halshs-02179704, HAL.
    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.
    8. Kenneth Harttgen & Stefan Lang & Johannes Seiler, 2017. "Selective mortality and undernutrition in low- and middle-income countries," Working Papers 2017-27, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck, revised Aug 2018.
    9. Rotimi Felix Afolabi & Martin Enock Palamuleni, 2022. "Influence of Maternal Education on Second Childbirth Interval Among Women in South Africa: Rural-Urban Differential Using Survival Analysis," SAGE Open, , vol. 12(1), pages 21582440221, March.
    10. Martin Flatø, 2018. "The Differential Mortality of Undesired Infants in Sub-Saharan Africa," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(1), pages 271-294, February.
    11. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 2018. "A Theory of Social Norms, Women's Time Allocation, and Gender Inequality in the Process of Development," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 237, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    12. Emily Smith-Greenaway, 2020. "Does Parents’ Union Instability Disrupt Intergenerational Advantage? An Analysis of Sub-Saharan Africa," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(2), pages 445-473, April.
    13. Haile, Kaleab & Tirivayi, Nyasha & Nillesen, Eleonora, 2019. "Climate shocks, coping responses and gender gap in human development," MERIT Working Papers 2019-052, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    14. Eleonora Mussino & Vitor Miranda & Li Ma, 2019. "Transition to third birth among immigrant mothers in Sweden: Does having two daughters accelerate the process?," Journal of Population Research, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 81-109, June.
    15. Boonaert, Eva & Hoyweghen, Kaat Van & Feyisa, Ashenafi Duguma & Goos, Peter & Maertens, Miet, 2021. "Twofold Gendered Preferences in the Quantity-Quality Trade-Off Impact the Demographic Transition in Ethiopia," 2021 Conference, August 17-31, 2021, Virtual 315224, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    16. Basedau, Matthias & Gobien, Simone & Prediger, Sebastian, 2017. "The Ambivalent Role of Religion for Sustainable Development: A Review of the Empirical Evidence," GIGA Working Papers 297, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    17. Genicot, Garance & Hernandez-de-Benito, Maria, 2022. "Women’s land rights and village institutions in Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 153(C).
    18. Harttgen, Kenneth & Lang, Stefan & Seiler, Johannes, 2019. "Selective mortality and the anthropometric status of children in low- and middle-income countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 257-273.
    19. Mahbub Hossain & M. Niaz Asadullah & Uma Kambhampati, 2021. "Women’s empowerment and gender-differentiated food allocation in Bangladesh," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 739-767, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; Fertility; Gender preferences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • 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
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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