Risk Aversion and Son Preference: Experimental Evidence from Chinese Twin Parents
Soo Hong Chew (),
Junjian Yi (),
Junsen Zhang and
Additional contact information
Soo Hong Chew: National University of Singapore
No 10519, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
We study the role of risk aversion underlying son preference in patriarchal societies, where sons serve as better insurance for old-age support than daughters. The implications of an insurance motive on son preference are two-fold. First, prior to the birth of their children, more risk-averse parents have a stronger preference for sons than for daughters. Second, after the birth of their children, parents with sons are more risk seeking, compared to parents with daughters. We adopt a within-twin-pair fixed-effects estimator with a weak identification assumption, which enables us to jointly identify these two effects. We further conduct an incentivized choice experiment to assess parental risk attitude in a sample of Chinese twins with children, and follow up with a second twin sample to examine the replicability of the findings. In both samples, we find that parents with greater risk aversion before the birth of their children are more likely to have sons through sex selection than parents with less risk aversion. Additionally, having sons significantly decreases parental risk aversion. These results contribute to the literature on the sources of son preference and help shed light on the nature of gender inequality.
Keywords: risk aversion; son preference; twins; experimental economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D01 D80 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-sea and nep-upt
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed
Forthcoming in: Management Science, 2017
Downloads: (external link)
Working Paper: Risk Aversion and Son Preference: Experimental Evidence from Chinese Twin Parents (2017)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10519
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().