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Measuring heterogeneity in preferences over the sex of children

Johannes Norling

Journal of Development Economics, 2018, vol. 135, issue C, 199-221

Abstract: This paper introduces a model-based approach for measuring heterogeneity in sex preferences using birth history records. The approach identifies the combinations of preferences over the sex and number of children that best explain observed childbearing. Empirical estimates indicate that a majority of parents in Africa, Asia, and the Americas consider the sex of children when making childbearing decisions. Many parents prefer sons and many prefer daughters. Comparisons with reported preferences suggest that survey respondents tend to underreport the degree to which they prefer sons or daughters. Estimates indicate that, although sex preferences are widespread, they have little effect on aggregate fertility levels.

Keywords: Sex preferences; Fertility; Gender; Partial identification (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:135:y:2018:i:c:p:199-221