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Gender Gap, Intra Household Bargaining and Sex Selective Abortion in Albania

Keiti Kondi ()
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Keiti Kondi: UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)

No 2023003, LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES from Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)

Abstract: Among European countries, Albania has by far the highest sex ratio at birth with 1.12 boys per girl, compared to the European average of 1.058. Considering this disbalance, this study analyzes the relative importance of three underlying mechanisms: sex bias in parents’ preferences for children, the gender gap in intra-household bargaining, and cultural norms. We develop a parsimonious model which incorporates different utilities for boys and girls, the bargaining between family members, and the decision about abortion dependent on its cost and including social stigma. We calibrate the model using data from the Demographic and Health Survey dataset on Albania for the year 2008 by measuring the preference for children of both sexes by the time invested in the child, education, violence, and women empowerment by how independent are women in taking their own decisions. We find that if we increase gender empowerment and equalize preference in children, the sex ratio decreases by 0.04 but it remains above its biological value. This residual could be interpreted as cultural norms affecting the decision-making and not allowing the above indicators in bringing sex ratios down to their biological values. To conclude we discuss different policies that can help in the decline of the sex ratio disparity while accounting for norms.

Keywords: sex selective abortion; gender equality; investment in children; fertility; household bargaining power (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023-01-13
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen, nep-ltv and nep-upt
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