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The Indian Ultrasound Paradox

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  • Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude

    () (Dalhousie University)

  • Rosenblum, Daniel

    () (Dalhousie University)

Abstract

The liberalization of the Indian economy in the 1990s made prenatal ultrasound technology affordable and available to a large fraction of the population. As a result, ultrasound use amongst pregnant women rose dramatically in many parts of India. This paper provides evidence on the consequences of the expansion of prenatal ultrasound use on sex-selection. We exploit state-by-cohort variation in ultrasound use in India as a unique quasi-experiment. We find that sex-selective abortion of female fetuses is rising in states with a slow expansion of ultrasound relative to those states with a rapid expansion of ultrasound. Thus, our findings suggest that the recent rapid spread of ultrasound is not causing higher rates of sex-selection in India.

Suggested Citation

  • Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude & Rosenblum, Daniel, 2012. "The Indian Ultrasound Paradox," IZA Discussion Papers 6273, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6273
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Milazzo, Annamaria, 2014. "Why are adult women missing ? son preference and maternal survival in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6802, The World Bank.
    2. Nadia Diamond-Smith & David Bishai, 2015. "Evidence of Self-correction of Child Sex Ratios in India: A District-Level Analysis of Child Sex Ratios From 1981 to 2011," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(2), pages 641-666, April.
    3. Daniel Rosenblum, 2015. "Unintended Consequences of Women's Inheritance Rights on Female Mortality in India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(2), pages 223-248.
    4. Stephan Klasen & Sebastian Vollmer, 2016. "A Flow Measure of Missing Women by Age and Disease," PGDA Working Papers 11314, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ultrasound; sex-selective abortion; India;

    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
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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