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On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: Fertility, Parental Investments, and Mortality

S Anukriti (), Sonia Bhalotra () and Hiu Tam ()
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Hiu Tam: University of Oxford

No 950, Boston College Working Papers in Economics from Boston College Department of Economics

Abstract: The introduction of prenatal sex-detection technologies in India has led to a phenomenal increase in abortion of female fetuses. We examine fertility and investment responses to these technologies. We find a moderation of son-biased fertility stopping, erosion of gender gaps in parental investments in breastfeeding and immunization, and convergence in the under-5 mor- tality rates of boys and girls. For every three aborted girls, roughly one additional girl survives to age five. We also find a shift in the distribution of girls in favor of low-socioeconomic status families. Our findings have implications not only for counts of missing girls but also for the later life outcomes of girls conditioned by greater early life investments in them.

Keywords: abortion; child mortality; fertility; gender; health; India; missing girls; parental investments; prenatal sex detection; sex-selection; ultrasound (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I15 J13 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-dev, nep-gen and nep-hea
Date: 2018-01-15
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