More Women Missing, Fewer Girls Dying: The Impact of Abortion on Sex Ratios at Birth and Excess Female Mortality in Taiwan

54 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2008 Last revised: 18 Nov 2013

See all articles by Ming-Jen Lin

Ming-Jen Lin

National Taiwan University - Department of Economics

Nancy Qian

Yale University - Department of Economics

Jin‐Tan Liu

National Taiwan University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: December 2008

Abstract

This paper presents novel empirical evidence on the impact of access to abortion on sex ratios at birth (SRB), excess female mortality (EFM) and fertility in Taiwan. For identification, we exploit plausibly exogenous variation in the availability of sex-selective abortion caused by the legalization of abortion. Our results show that the legalization of abortion accounts for almost all of the observed increase in SRB during the 1980s and decreased EFM by approximately 20%. Approximately ten more female infants survived for every one hundred that were aborted. Interestingly, we find that while abortion reduced overall fertility, it increased fertility for older mothers.

Suggested Citation

Lin, Ming-Jen and Qian, Nancy and Liu, Jin-Tan, More Women Missing, Fewer Girls Dying: The Impact of Abortion on Sex Ratios at Birth and Excess Female Mortality in Taiwan (December 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14541, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1312632

Ming-Jen Lin

National Taiwan University - Department of Economics ( email )

21 Hsiu Chow Rd
Taipei, 10020
Taiwan

Nancy Qian

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

Jin-Tan Liu (Contact Author)

National Taiwan University - Department of Economics ( email )

21 Hsu-Chow Road
Taipei, 10020
Taiwan

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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