Are There Missing Girls in the United States? Evidence from Birth Data
University of Texas at Austin
Gender selection, manifested by unusually high percentages of male births, has spread in parts of Asia since the introduction of ultrasound technology. This paper provides the first empirical evidence consistent with the occurrence of gender selection within the United States. Analysis of comprehensive birth data shows unusually high boy-birth percentages after 1980 among later children (most notably third and fourth children) born to Chinese and Asian Indian mothers. Moreover, using maternally linked data from California, Asian Indian mothers are found to be significantly more likely both to have a terminated pregnancy and to give birth to a son when they have previously only given birth to girls.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 43
Keywords: Gender selection, gender preference
JEL Classification: J13, J16working papers series
Date posted: October 24, 2005 ; Last revised: February 4, 2008
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