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Impact of Industrialization on Relative Female Survival: Evidence from Trade Policies

  • Chakraborty, Tanika

    ()

    (Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur)

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    This paper exploits an exogenous shift in the trade policy in India to study the impact of industrialization on son preference. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, we find that households are more likely to have a male child in regions with higher trade openness relative to regions with lower trade openness. Moreover, higher trade openness seems to have affected only the Hindu households; there is no analogous effect on the Muslim households. We further analyze the underlying mechanisms through which industrialization might have affected relative survival of daughters. We find a significant increase in real dowry payments in regions experiencing greater trade openness. Most interestingly, dowry inflation is experienced by the Hindu households, but not by the Muslim households. The results are robust to falsification tests using cohorts born much before the liberalization period and are not driven by systematic migration into areas with greater trade openness.

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp6647.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6647.

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    Length: 43 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6647
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    1. Karen Norberg, 2004. "Partnership Status and the Human Sex Ratio at Birth," NBER Working Papers 10920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Tanika Chakraborty & Sukkoo Kim, 2010. "Kinship institutions and sex ratios in India," Demography, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 989-1012, November.
    3. Robin Burgess & Juzhong Zhuang, 2000. "Modernisation and Son Preference," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 29, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    4. Siwan Anderson, 2003. "Why Dowry Payments Declined with Modernization in Europe but Are Rising in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 269-310, April.
    5. Rohini Pande & Nan Astone, 2007. "Explaining son preference in rural India: the independent role of structural versus individual factors," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 1-29, February.
    6. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
    7. Lena Edlund, 1999. "Son Preference, Sex Rations, and Marriage Patterns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1275-1304, December.
    8. 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.
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