Thanks Dad: New Evidence on Son Preference among Immigrant Households in the U.S.
36 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2019
Date Written: May 30, 2019
This paper provides new evidence on the acquisition and persistence of child gender preference among immigrant populations in the United States using Census and ACS data. We first confirm existing evidence of son preference among immigrant populations from South East Asia documented across multiple studies and samples. We then demonstrate several new empirical findings. First, Japanese immigrants exhibit daughter preference. Second, assortative matching between immigrant parents is associated with stronger gender preferences. Third, comparing male and female migrants who marry natives provides suggestive evidence that paternal preferences could be more to blame for son preference than maternal. Fourth, child gender preferences are strongest for migrants who arrive after childhood but do not appear to diminish with duration of residence in the U.S. Finally, while higher order generations exhibit weaker son preference, there is a high degree of heterogeneity across groups most second and higher order generation immigrants assimilate more rapidly to U.S. norms except Indian immigrant populations which exhibit strong son preference among higher-order generations.
Keywords: son preference, immigrants, assimilation
JEL Classification: J13, J15, J16, Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation