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The lexicographic preference for a son: evidence from household data in Vietnam

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  • Tien Manh Vu

    (Ph.D Candidate, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University)

Abstract

This paper examines son preferences by specifying sex composition by birth order of existing children as key independent variables. The results indicate a lexicographic preference for a son by mothers aged 50 years and older. Mothers without a son are also under substantial pressure to bear more children and shorten their birth spacing. However, once a family includes a son, parents do not consider sex composition over other decisions on family size and fertility timing. It would appear that the preference for a son is relatively stronger for some birth orders in the northern regions of Vietnam but slightly weaker in the Central Highlands and South Central Coast. In addition, while women are important in the Vietnamese labor force, the level of preference for sons does not differ across income at lower birth orders. We also obtain mixed results for son preferences if we include mothers less than 50 years of age in our analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Tien Manh Vu, 2012. "The lexicographic preference for a son: evidence from household data in Vietnam," OSIPP Discussion Paper 12E001, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:osp:wpaper:12e001
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    File URL: http://www.osipp.osaka-u.ac.jp/archives/DP/2012/DP2012E001.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jonathan Haughton & Dominique Haughton, 1998. "Are simple tests of son preference useful? An evaluation using data from Vietnam," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(4), pages 495-516.
    2. Wataru Kureishi & Midori Wakabayashi, 2011. "Son preference in Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 873-893, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Son preference; Sex composition; Birth order; Birth spacing;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • 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

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