Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance

56 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2007  

Nancy Qian

Yale University - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 2006

Abstract

Economists long have argued that the severe sex imbalance that exists in many developing countries is caused by underlying economic conditions. This paper uses plausibly exogenous increases in sex-specific agricultural income caused by post-Mao reforms in China to estimate the effects of total income and sex-specific income on sex ratios of surviving children. The results show that increasing income alone has no effect on sex ratios. In contrast, increasing female income, holding male income constant, increases survival rates for girls; increasing male income, holding female income constant, decreases survival rates for girls. Moreover, increasing the mother's income increases educational attainment for all children, while increasing the father's income decreases educational attainment for girls and has no effect on boys' educational attainment.

Keywords: Gender, development, household bargaining

JEL Classification: I12, J13, J16, J24, O13, O15

Suggested Citation

Qian, Nancy, Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance (December 2006). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5986. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=960821

Nancy Qian (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

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