Where There is a Will: Fertility Behavior and Sex Bias in Large Families
46 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2009 Last revised: 29 Mar 2013
Date Written: March 26, 2013
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: Suggested Citation