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; Dalhousie University ; Dalhousie University

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 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1989245

Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Dalhousie University ( email )

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3J5
Canada

Dalhousie University ( email )

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3J5
Canada

Daniel Rosenblum

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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