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It's a Boy! Women and Non-Monetary Benefits from a Son in India

  • Zimmermann, Laura

    ()

    (University of Georgia)

Son preference is widespread in a number of developing countries. Anecdotal evidence suggests that women may contribute to the persistence of this phenomenon because they derive substantial long-run non-monetary benefits from giving birth to a son in the form of an improvement in their intra-household position. This paper tests this hypothesis in the Indian context. The results suggest that for the most part there is little evidence of substantial female benefits, and any positive impacts of having a son disappear after six months. This implies that the female-specific self-interest in a son is probably much lower than commonly assumed.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6847.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6847
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  1. Jayachandran, Seema & Kuziemko, Ilyana, 2009. "Why Do Mothers Breastfeed Girls Less Than Boys? Evidence and Implications for Child Health in India," CEPR Discussion Papers 7321, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Trevon D. Logan & Raj Arunachalam, 2014. "Is There Dowry Inflation in South Asia?," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 81-94, June.
  3. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Cochrane, Tom, 2010. "Where Have All the Young Girls Gone? Identification of Sex Selection in India," IZA Discussion Papers 5381, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Nancy Qian, 2008. "Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1251-1285, August.
  5. Vijayendra Rao, . "The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-6, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  6. Lee, Jungmin, 2004. "Sibling Size and Investment in Children's Education: An Asian Instrument," IZA Discussion Papers 1323, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1982. "Market Opportunities, Genetic Endowments, and Intrafamily Resource Distribution: Child Survival in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 803-15, September.
  8. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Kevin Milligan, 2009. "O Sister, Where Art Thou? The Role of Son Preference and Sex Choice: Evidence from Immigrants to Canada," NBER Working Papers 15391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Chung, Woojin & Das Gupta, Monica, 2007. "Why is son preference declining in South Korea ? the role of development and public policy, and the implications for China and India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4373, The World Bank.
  10. Rahman, Omar & Foster, Andrew & Menken, Jane, 1992. "Older widow mortality in rural Bangladesh," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 89-96, January.
  11. Das Gupta, Monica & Chung, Woojin & Shuzhuo, Li, 2009. "Is there an incipient turnaround in Asia's"missing girls"phenomenon ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4846, The World Bank.
  12. 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.
  13. Rose, Elaina, 2000. "Gender Bias, Credit Constraints and Time Allocation in Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 738-58, July.
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