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Is there an incipient turnaround in Asia's"missing girls"phenomenon ?

  • Das Gupta, Monica
  • Chung, Woojin
  • Shuzhuo, Li

The apparently inexorable rise in the proportion of"missing girls"in much of East and South Asia has attracted much attention amongst researchers and policy-makers. An encouraging trend was suggested by the case of South Korea, where child sex ratios were the highest in Asia but peaked in the mid-1990s and normalized thereafter. Using census data, we examine whether similar trends have begun to manifest themselves in the two large populous countries of this region, China and India. The data indicate that child sex ratios are peaking in these countries, and in many sub-national regions are beginning to trend towards less masculinization. This suggests that, with continuing vigorous efforts to reduce son preference, the"missing girls"phenomenon could be addressed in Asia.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4846.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4846
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  1. Sinha, Nistha & Yoong, Joanne, 2009. "Long-term financial incentives and investment in daughters : evidence from conditional cash transfers in north India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4860, The World Bank.
  2. Ansley Coale & Judith Banister, 1994. "Five decades of missing females in China," Demography, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 459-479, August.
  3. Woojin Chung & Monica Das Gupta, 2007. "The Decline of Son Preference in South Korea: The Roles of Development and Public Policy," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(4), pages 757-783.
  4. Das Gupta, Monica & Sunhwa Lee & Uberoi, Patricia & Danning Wang & Lihong Wang & Xiaodan Zhang, 2000. "State policies and women's autonomy in China, India, and the Republic of Korea, 1950-2000 : lessons from contrasting experiences," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2497, The World Bank.
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