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Sex selection and gender balance

Bhaskar, V (2010): Sex selection and gender balance.

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Abstract

We model sex selection and the equilibrium sex ratio, when parents care about their child's marriage prospects. With intrinsic son preference, selection results in a male-biased sex ratio. This is inefficient, due to a marriage market congestion externality. Medical innovations that facilitate selection aggravate the inefficiency. If son preference arises endogenously, due to population growth causing an excess supply of women on the marriage market, selection may improve welfare. Empirically, sex selection causes an excess of males and reduces welfare in China. In India, rising cohort sizes give rise to an excess of women in most parts of the country.

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