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Child Gender And Parental Investments In India: Are Boys And Girls Treated Differently?

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  • Silvia H. Barcellos
  • Leandro Carvalho
  • Adriana Lleras-Muney

Abstract

Although previous research has not always found that boys and girls are treated differently in rural India, son-biased stopping rules imply that estimates of the effect of gender on parental investments are likely to be biased because girls systematically end up in larger families. We propose a novel identification strategy for overcoming this bias. We document that boys receive significantly more childcare time than girls. In addition boys are more likely to be breastfed longer, and to be given vaccinations and vitamin supplementation. We then present suggestive evidence that the differential treatment of boys is neither due to their greater needs nor to the effect of anticipated family size.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvia H. Barcellos & Leandro Carvalho & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2012. "Child Gender And Parental Investments In India: Are Boys And Girls Treated Differently?," NBER Working Papers 17781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17781
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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