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

S Anukriti (), Sonia Bhalotra () and Hiu Tam

No 9390, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: The introduction of prenatal sex-detection technologies in India has led to a phenomenal increase in abortion of female fetuses. This paper examines the impacts of this on girl relative to boy mortality rates after birth, using data from 1973-2005. The analysis finds a narrowing of the gender gap in under-5 mortality rates, in line with surviving girls being more wanted. The estimates show that for every three aborted girls, one additional girl survives to age five. Investigation of the mechanisms finds a narrowing of gender gaps in parental investments in children, moderation of son-biased fertility stopping, and shrinking of the gap between actual and desired fertility. Heterogeneity in fertility responses suggests a shift in the distribution of girls toward lower socioeconomic status families. The findings have implications not only for counts of missing girls, but also for the later life outcomes of girls.

Keywords: Law and Justice Institutions; Gender and Development; Health Care Services Industry; Inequality; Early Child and Children's Health; Reproductive Health; Nutrition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-09-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-dev and nep-hea
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Related works:
Working Paper: On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: Fertility, Parental Investments, and Mortality (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: Fertility, Parental Investments, and Mortality (2018) Downloads
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