Exploring the Factors Affecting Differences in Height Between Infant Boys and Girls in Bangladesh
34 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2015 Last revised: 13 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 11, 2017
With gender discrimination still prevalent in most parts of the world, governments and the United Nations are adopting policies to eliminate all forms of discrimination by 2030 as part of Sustainable Development Goals. Although most policy interventions attempt to reduce gender discrimination in the workplace and in education access, little is known about the extent of gender discrimination within the household. In this paper, I study whether girls and boys are treated equally in Bangladesh by examining the extent of the difference in standardized height between infant boys and infant girls of the same household. Using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys of Bangladesh, my results show that children born to the richest household are the tallest. An increase in mother’s education will increase the height of the offspring, but the coefficient is much higher for boys than that for girls. If the older child is a boy, and the younger child is also a boy, it appears that the younger boy will have a lower standardized height than the older boy. This shows that boys are still preferred in Bangladesh; the oldest boy gets much more resources allocated to him, but more boys in households do not guarantee that the youngest infant boy get the same amount of nutrition as the oldest boy.
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