The Indian Ultrasound Paradox

43 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2012

See all articles by Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel

Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Daniel Rosenblum

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

The liberalization of the Indian economy in the 1990s made prenatal ultrasound technology affordable and available to a large fraction of the population. As a result, ultrasound use amongst pregnant women rose dramatically in many parts of India. This paper provides evidence on the consequences of the expansion of prenatal ultrasound use on sex-selection. We exploit state-by-cohort variation in ultrasound use in India as a unique quasi-experiment. We find that sex-selective abortion of female fetuses is rising in states with a slow expansion of ultrasound relative to those states with a rapid expansion of ultrasound. Thus, our findings suggest that the recent rapid spread of ultrasound is not causing higher rates of sex-selection in India.

Keywords: ultrasound, sex-selective abortion, India

JEL Classification: J13, J16, O1

Suggested Citation

Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude and Rosenblum, Daniel, The Indian Ultrasound Paradox. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6273. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1989245

Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Daniel Rosenblum

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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