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Maternal Longevity and the Sex of Offspring: Evidence from Pre-Industrial Sweden

Author

Listed:
  • Cesarini, David

    () (Department of Economics, MIT)

  • Lindqvist, Erik

    () (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Wallace, Björn

    () (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

Helle et al. (2002) used data from Finnish parish records to study the cost of bearing sons vis-à-vis daughters in terms of postmenopausal longevity and found a large and significant cost associated with sons. In this paper, we replicate and extend their analysis on a larger dataset of pre-modern Swedish women and find no evidence of a negative relative impact of sons. Neither do we find any evidence for the resource competition hypothesis put forth by Van de Putte et al. (2004), despite the relative poverty of our study population. This suggests that the effects found in Helle et al. (2002) were not a general feature of life in pre-modern populations. Finally, we raise some concerns regarding the methodology used and inferences made in previous studies on the topic.

Suggested Citation

  • Cesarini, David & Lindqvist, Erik & Wallace, Björn, 2007. "Maternal Longevity and the Sex of Offspring: Evidence from Pre-Industrial Sweden," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 651, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0651
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. D'Ovidio, Fabrizio & d'Errico, Angelo & Scarinzi, Cecilia & Costa, Giuseppe, 2015. "Increased incidence of coronary heart disease associated with “double burden” in a cohort of Italian women," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 40-46.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    maternal longevity; sons; demography;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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