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

Author

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  • Zimmermann, Laura V

    () (University of Georgia)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Zimmermann, Laura V, 2012. "It's a Boy! Women and Non-Monetary Benefits from a Son in India," IZA Discussion Papers 6847, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6847
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rao, Vijayendra, 1993. "The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 666-677, August.
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    3. Jungmin Lee, 2008. "Sibling size and investment in children’s education: an asian instrument," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(4), pages 855-875, October.
    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, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1251-1285.
    5. 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).
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Rose, Elaina, 2000. "Gender Bias, Credit Constraints and Time Allocation in Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 738-758, July.
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    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.
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    1. It’s a Boy! Women and Non-Monetary Benefits from a Son in India
      by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2012-10-08 17:05:00

    More about this item

    Keywords

    son preference; non-monetary benefits; bargaining power; intra-household allocation; India;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • 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

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