Between Cultures and Markets: an Eclectic Analysis of Juvenile Gender Ratios in India
There exist large variations in juvenile sex ratios across districts and social groups in India. Economic and cultural factors have been advanced as contending explanations for these variations. We propose a household optimization model that integrates cultural explanations with economic ones. We estimate this model using data from 1961, 1971 and 1981 censuses. We use cross section and panel data estimation, with and without restrictions, estimate fixed and random effects models, and use first differencing to eliminate district effects. We find that female labour force participation, female literacy, and the predominance of the Indo-Aryan kinship system in a district account for much of the variation in juvenile sex ratios.
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