Is Son Preference Disappearing from Bangladesh?

37 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2021

See all articles by M. Niaz Asadullah

M. Niaz Asadullah

University of Reading - Department of Economics; University of Malaya

Nazia Mansoor

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Teresa Randazzo

University of Kent - Canterbury Campus

Zaki Wahhaj

University of Kent - Department of Economics; University of Namur; University of Kent - School of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 22, 2020

Abstract

Historically, son preference has been widely prevalent in South Asia, manifested in the form of skewed sex ratios, gender differentials in child mortality, and worse educational investments in daughters versus sons. In the present study, we show, using data from a purposefully designed nationally representative survey for Bangladesh that, among women of childbearing age, son bias in stated fertility preferences has weakened and there is an emerging preference for gender balance. We examine a number of different hypotheses for the decline in son preference, including the increasing availability of female employment in the manufacturing sector, increased female education, and the decline of joint family living. Using survival analysis, we show that, in contrast to stated fertility preferences, actual fertility decisions are still shaped by son preference.

Keywords: Fertility, gender bias, birth spacing, female employment, Bangladesh

JEL Classification: J11, J13, J16, O12

Suggested Citation

Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz and Mansoor, Nazia and Randazzo, Teresa and Wahhaj, Zaki, Is Son Preference Disappearing from Bangladesh? (December 22, 2020). University Ca' Foscari of Venice, Dept. of Economics Research Paper Series No. 24/WP/2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3764519 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3764519

Mohammad Niaz Asadullah

University of Reading - Department of Economics ( email )

Reading, RG6 6AA
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.reading.ac.uk/economics/about/staff/m-asadullah.asp

University of Malaya ( email )

Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan
Malaysia

Nazia Mansoor

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Teresa Randazzo (Contact Author)

University of Kent - Canterbury Campus ( email )

Zaki Wahhaj

University of Kent - Department of Economics ( email )

Keynes College
Kent, CT2 7NP
United Kingdom

University of Namur ( email )

8 Rempart de la Vierge
Namur, 5000
Belgium

University of Kent - School of Economics ( email )

CT2 7NP
United Kingdom

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