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Son Preference, Sex Selection and the Problem of Missing Women in India

  • Deepankar Basu


    (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

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    This paper empirically tests for two competing explanations of the increasing sex ratio at birth (SRB) in India: hepatitis B and human intervention. Estimating a male- preferring stopping rule with data from three rounds of the National Family Health Survey in India (1992, 1998 and 2005), I find that the probability of a male birth varies significantly across birth parities. Using a novel proxy for hepatitis B in India - tribal status - I also find that hepatitis B has no impact on the probability of male birth. I conclude that human intervention explains the increasing SRB in India. JEL Categories: J1, J7.

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    Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics in its series UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers with number 2009-06.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2009-06
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    1. Monica Das Gupta, 2005. "Explaining Asia's "Missing Women": A New Look at the Data," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(3), pages 529-535.
    2. Ming-Jen Lin & Ming-Ching Luoh, 2008. "Can Hepatitis B Mothers Account for the Number of Missing Women? Evidence from Three Million Newborns in Taiwan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2259-73, December.
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