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The changing geography of gender in India

Scott Fulford ()

No 833, Boston College Working Papers in Economics from Boston College Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper examines the changing distribution of where women and girls live in India at the smallest scale possible: India's nearly 600,000 villages. The village level variation in the proportion female is far larger than the variation across districts. Decomposing the variance, I show that village India is becoming more homogeneous in its preferences for boys even as that preference becomes more pronounced. A consequence is that 70% of girls grow up in villages where they are the distinct minority. Most Indian women move on marriage, yet marriage migration has almost no gender equalizing influence. Further, by linking all villages across censuses, I show that most changes in village infrastructure are not related to changes in child gender. Gaining primary schools and increases in female literacy decrease the proportion of girls. The results suggests that there are no easy policy solutions for addressing the increasing masculinization of Indian society.

Keywords: Marriage migration; Sex ratios; Son preference; Geographic distribution of women; Asia; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J12 J16 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-09-30
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-dev, nep-mig and nep-ure
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