Why are adult women missing ? son preference and maternal survival in India
This paper is the first to show that excess mortality among adult women can be partly explained by strong preference for male children, the same cultural norm widely known to cause excess mortality before birth or at young ages. Using pooled individual-level data for India, the paper compares the age structure and anemia status of women by the sex of their first-born and uncovers several new findings. First, the share of living women with a first-born girl is a decreasing function of the women's age at the time of the survey. Second, while there are no systematic differences at the time of birth, women with a first-born girl are significantly more likely to develop anemia when young (under the age of 30) and these differences disappear for older women. Moreover, among those in the older age group, they appear to be significantly better off in terms of various predetermined characteristics. These findings are consistent with a selection effect in which maternal and adult mortality is higher for women with first-born girls, especially the poor and uneducated with limited access to health care and prenatal sex diagnostic technologies. To ensure the desired sex composition of children, these women resort to a fertility behavior medically known to increase their risk of death. The observed sex ratios for first births imply that 2.2-8.4 percent of women with first-born girls are'missing'because of son preference between the ages of 30 and 49.
|Date of creation:||01 Mar 2014|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jayachandran, Seema & Kuziemko, Ilyana, 2009.
"Why Do Mothers Breastfeed Girls Less Than Boys? Evidence and Implications for Child Health in India,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
7321, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Seema Jayachandran & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2011. "Why Do Mothers Breastfeed Girls Less than Boys? Evidence and Implications for Child Health in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1485-1538.
- 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.
- Seema Jayachandran & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2009. "Why Do Mothers Breastfeed Girls Less Than Boys? Evidence and Implications for Child Health in India," Working Papers id:2041, eSocialSciences.
- Milazzo, Annamaria, 2014. "Son preference, fertility and family structure : evidence from reproductive behavior among Nigerian women," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6869, The World Bank.
- Luojia Hu & Analía Schlosser, 2015.
"Prenatal Sex Selection and Girls’ Well‐Being: Evidence from India,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(587), pages 1227-1261, 09.
- Hu, Luojia & Schlosser, Analia, 2011. "Prenatal Sex Selection and Girls' Well-Being: Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 5562, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Luojia Hu & Analía Schlosser, 2010. "Prenatal sex selection and girls’ well-being? evidence from India," Working Paper Series WP-2010-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Silvia H. Barcellos & Leandro Carvalho & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2012.
"Child Gender And Parental Investments In India: Are Boys And Girls Treated Differently?,"
NBER Working Papers
17781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Silvia Helena Barcellos & Leandro S. Carvalho & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2014. "Child Gender and Parental Investments in India: Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 157-89, January.
- Silvia Helena Barcellos & Leandro Carvalho & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2010. "Child Gender and Parental Investments in India: Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently?," Working Papers 756, RAND Corporation.
- Daniel Rosenblum, 2013. "The effect of fertility decisions on excess female mortality in India," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 147-180, January.
- Prashant Bharadwaj & Leah K. Lakdawala, 2013. "Discrimination Begins in the Womb: Evidence of Sex-Selective Prenatal Investments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(1), pages 71-113.
- Jason Abrevaya, 2009. "Are There Missing Girls in the United States? Evidence from Birth Data," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 1-34, April.
- Deon Filmer & Jed Friedman & Norbert Schady, 2009. "Development, Modernization, and Childbearing: The Role of Family Sex Composition," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 23(3), pages 371-398, October.
- Jean Drèze & Mamta Murthi, 2001. "Fertility, Education, and Development: Evidence from India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(1), pages 33-63.
- Siwan Anderson & Debraj Ray, 2010. "Missing Women: Age and Disease," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1262-1300.
- Waldron, Ingrid, 1983. "Sex differences in human mortality: The role of genetic factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 321-333, January.
- Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude & Rosenblum, Daniel, 2012. "The Indian Ultrasound Paradox," IZA Discussion Papers 6273, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Stephan Klasen & Sebastian Vollmer, 2013. "Missing Women: Age and Disease: A Correction," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 133, Courant Research Centre PEG.
- Shelley Clark, 2000. "Son preference and sex composition of children: Evidence from india," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(1), pages 95-108, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6802. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.