Where There is a Will: Fertility Behavior and Sex Bias in Large Families

46 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2009 Last revised: 29 Mar 2013

Tarun Jain

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad

Date Written: March 26, 2013

Abstract

This paper argues that the social institutions of lineage maintenance, patrilocality and joint families have a significant role in explaining sex differences in survival and health outcomes in rural India, even when parents do not treat boys and girls differently. Tests using panel data from rural households confirm this explanation, which accounts for 7 percent of excess female mortality in Haryana and Rajasthan and 4 percent in Punjab. An institutional explanation suggests limits on the role for public policy in addressing large sex differences in health and mortality outcomes.

Keywords: Strategic Bequests, Joint Family, Fertility Choice, Gender Discrimination, Sex Ratio

JEL Classification: H31, J12, J13, J16, O15

Suggested Citation

Jain, Tarun, Where There is a Will: Fertility Behavior and Sex Bias in Large Families (March 26, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1367907 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1367907

Tarun Jain (Contact Author)

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad ( email )

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