Child Gender and Parental Investments in India: Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently?

54 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2012

See all articles by Silvia Barcellos

Silvia Barcellos

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)

Leandro Carvalho

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR); University of Southern California - Department of Economics

Adriana Lleras-Muney

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: January 2012

Abstract

Although previous research has not always found that boys and girls are treated differently in rural India, son-biased stopping rules imply that estimates of the effect of gender on parental investments are likely to be biased because girls systematically end up in larger families. We propose a novel identification strategy for overcoming this bias. We document that boys receive significantly more childcare time than girls. In addition boys are more likely to be breastfed longer, and to be given vaccinations and vitamin supplementation. We then present suggestive evidence that the differential treatment of boys is neither due to their greater needs nor to the effect of anticipated family size.

Suggested Citation

Barcellos, Silvia and Carvalho, Leandro and Lleras-Muney, Adriana, Child Gender and Parental Investments in India: Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently? (January 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w17781, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1992819

Silvia Barcellos (Contact Author)

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

Leandro Carvalho

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3620 South Vermont Ave. Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Adriana Lleras-Muney

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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