Missing Women: A Review of the Debates and an Analysis of Recent Trends

39 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2002

See all articles by Stephan Klasen

Stephan Klasen

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Claudia Wink

DEG-German Investment and Development Company

Date Written: June 2002

Abstract

In a series of papers in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Amartya Sen coined the phrase 'missing women' to refer to the number of females that have died as a result of discriminatory treatment in the access to health und nutrition in parts of the developing world. He estimated then that the number of missing women was about 100 million. A subsequent debate has refined these estimates using different demographic techniques. In this paper, we review this debate, provide an update of the number of 'missing women' at the turn of the millennium based on the latest census data and investigate the determinants of current trends in gender bias in mortality. We find that the number of missing women has increased in absolute terms, but fallen as a share of the number of women alive. There have been sizable improvements in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and most countries of the Middle East and North Africa, while there are only small improvements in India and a deterioration in China. We find that the improving female education and employment opportunities has helped to reduce gender bias in most countries while the increasing recourse to sex-selective abor tions has worsened it, particularly in China but increasingly also in India.

Keywords: Gender inequality, missing women, developing countries, sex-selective abortion

JEL Classification: I12, J11, J16

Suggested Citation

Klasen, Stephan and Wink, Claudia, Missing Women: A Review of the Debates and an Analysis of Recent Trends (June 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=321861 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.321861

Stephan Klasen (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Platz der Goettinger Sieben 3
Goettingen, 37073
Germany
+49-551-397303 (Phone)
+49-551-397302 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: www.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/klasen.html

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Claudia Wink

DEG-German Investment and Development Company ( email )

Postfach 45 03 40
D-50878 Cologne
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
378
rank
76,198
Abstract Views
2,564
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations while be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information