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Where there is a will: Fertility behavior and sex bias in large families

Jain, Tarun (2009): Where there is a will: Fertility behavior and sex bias in large families.

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Abstract

This paper argues that the social institutions of lineage maintenance, patrilocality and joint families have a significant role in explaining sex differences in survival and health outcomes in rural India, even when parents do not treat boys and girls differently. Tests using panel data from rural households confirm this explanation, which accounts for 7 percent of excess female mortality in Haryana and Rajasthan and 4 percent in Punjab. An institutional explanation suggests limits on the role for public policy in addressing large sex differences in health and mortality outcomes.strategic fertility behavior implies that girls have systematically more siblings compared to boys, and hence receive smaller shares of household resources, offering an explanation for sex-based dierences in outcomes.

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