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

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

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17781.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17781.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2012
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    Publication status: published as “Child gender and Parental Investments in India: Are boys and Girls Treated Differently?” forthcoming, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. (joint with Silvia H. Barcellos and Leandro Carvalho)
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17781
    Note: CH HE LS
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.orgEmail:


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    1. Seema Jayachandran & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2009. "Why Do Mothers Breastfeed Girls Less Than Boys? Evidence and Implications for Child Health in India," NBER Working Papers 15041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Emily Oster, 2006. "Does Increased Access Increase Equality? Gender and Child Health Investments in India," NBER Working Papers 12743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sharon L. Maccini & Dean Yang, 2008. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," NBER Working Papers 14031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alessandro Tarozzi & Aprajit Mahajan, 2007. "Child Nutrition in India in the Nineties," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 441-486.
    5. repec:bla:restud:v:75:y:2008:i:4:p:1085-1120 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Qian, Nancy, 2006. "Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance," CEPR Discussion Papers 5986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Lata Gangadharan & Pushkar Maitra, 2000. "Testing for Son Preference in South Africa," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0072, Econometric Society.
    8. Tarozzi, Alessandro, 2008. "Growth reference charts and the nutritional status of Indian children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 455-468, December.
    9. Borooah, Vani, 2004. "Gender Bias Among Children in India in their Diet and Immunisation Against Disease," MPRA Paper 19590, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2008. "Life Expectancy and Human Capital Investments: Evidence From Maternal Mortality Declines," NBER Working Papers 13947, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Gordon B. Dahl & Enrico Moretti, 2008. "The Demand for Sons," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1085-1120.
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