Causal Effects of Sex Preference on Sex-Blind and Sex-Selective Child Avoidance and Substitution Across Birth Years: Evidence from the Japanese Year of the Fire Horse

14 Pages Posted: 8 May 2011

See all articles by Chris Rohlfs

Chris Rohlfs

Syracuse University

Alexander Reed

Xenon Capital Management

Hiroyuki Yamada

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: January 1, 2008

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of a short-term change in preference for male offspring on couples' childbearing and child-avoidance behaviors.We exploit a natural experiment in Japan in which girls born in a specific astrological year are regarded as less desirable. We relate this superstition to an economic model of child avoidance. We measure the relative importance of sex-selective and sex-blind child avoidance responses nationwide and across geographic areas and the degree of substitutability of children across birth years in Japan in 1846, 1906, and 1966, and we examine how these responses interacted with the economic and social development of Japan over this period.

JEL Classification: J13, J16, N35, O10, R2

Suggested Citation

Rohlfs, Chris and Reed, Alexander and Yamada, Hiroyuki, Causal Effects of Sex Preference on Sex-Blind and Sex-Selective Child Avoidance and Substitution Across Birth Years: Evidence from the Japanese Year of the Fire Horse (January 1, 2008). Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 92, No. 1, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1832732

Chris Rohlfs (Contact Author)

Syracuse University ( email )

Center for Policy Resarch
426 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www-cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/

Alexander Reed

Xenon Capital Management ( email )

United States

Hiroyuki Yamada

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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