Droughts and Gender Bias in Infant Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa
Are African girls more exposed than boys to risk of infant mortality during crises and if so, is the difference due to discrimination? To answer these questions, we combine retrospective fertility data on over 1.5 million births from Demographic and Health Surveys with data on rainfall variability and find a substantial gender difference favouring boys following droughts. We substantiate that this difference has social determinants by showing that the difference is only present in contexts in which we would expect discrimination of daughters. The difference is only present in communities with strong preferences for sons and in areas where fertility desires are low. In areas with low levels of female employment there is a large gender gap following droughts, especially for infants with mothers who are not working. In contrast, there is no gender difference in infant mortality after droughts in areas where many women work, irrespective of the employment status of the individual mother under consideration. No difference is found across mothers with different levels of education, perhaps due to the lower fertility preferences of more educated women. In total, the results indicate a large and socially founded gender bias in infant mortality after crises. They also shed light on factors behind the African exceptionalism of little gender discrimination in infant mortality. As communities with strong son preferences, low fertility preferences, and low female employment display gender bias after crises in Africa, the results are consistent with factors explaining differences in gender biases between countries across the world.
|Date of creation:||13 Feb 2014|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway|
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Fenske, James, 2015.
"African polygamy: Past and present,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.
- James Fenske, 2012. "African polygamy: Past and present," CSAE Working Paper Series 2012-20, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Fenske, James, 2012. "African polygamy: Past and present," MPRA Paper 41618, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- James Fenske, 2012. "African Polygamy: Past and Present," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2012-20, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Burke, Marshall & Gong, Erick & Jones, Kelly, 2011.
"Income shocks and HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa:,"
IFPRI discussion papers
1146, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Mariano Rabassa & Emmanuel Skoufias & Hanan Jacoby, 2014.
"Weather and Child Health in Rural Nigeria,"
Journal of African Economies,
Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 23(4), pages 464-492.
- Kenneth Harttgen & Stephan Klasen & Sebastian Vollmer, 2013. "Economic Growth and Child Undernutrition in sub-Saharan Africa," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 39(3), pages 397-412, 09.
- Esther Duflo, 2011.
"Women's Empowerment and Economic Development,"
NBER Working Papers
17702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roland Pongou, 2013. "Why Is Infant Mortality Higher in Boys Than in Girls? A New Hypothesis Based on Preconception Environment and Evidence From a Large Sample of Twins," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 421-444, April.
- Marshall Burke & Erick Gong & Kelly Jones, 2015.
"Income Shocks and HIV in Africa,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(585), pages 1157-1189, 06.
- Christophe Z. Guilmoto, 2009. "The Sex Ratio Transition in Asia," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(3), pages 519-549.
- repec:oup:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:4:p:1262-1300 is not listed on IDEAS
- John Bongaarts, 2010. "The causes of educational differences in fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 8(1), pages 31-50.
- 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.
- Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2010. "A simple feasible procedure to fit models with high-dimensional fixed effects," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(4), pages 628-649, December.
- Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, March.
- Björkman-Nyqvist, Martina, 2013. "Income shocks and gender gaps in education: Evidence from Uganda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 237-253.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2014_002. 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: (Magnus Gabriel Aase)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.