Patrilocality and Missing Women

64 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2014

See all articles by Avraham Ebenstein

Avraham Ebenstein

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 7, 2014


Recent scholarship has documented an alarming increase in the sex ratio at birth in parts of East Asia, South Asia and the South Caucuses. I argue that parents engage in sex selection because of patrilocal norms that dictate elderly coresidence between parents and sons. Sex ratios and coresidence rates are positively correlated when looking across countries, within countries across districts, and within districts across ethnic groups. I examine the origins of patrilocality, and find it is most common among ethnic groups which practiced intensive agriculture. I conclude with an examination of how parents respond to changes in public pension programs.

Keywords: patrilocality, missing girls, son preference

JEL Classification: J13, J14

Suggested Citation

Ebenstein, Avraham, Patrilocality and Missing Women (April 7, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Avraham Ebenstein (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )


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