Son Preference In Indian Families: Absolute Versus Relative Wealth Effects

Title:
Son Preference In Indian Families: Absolute Versus Relative Wealth Effects
Authors:
Gaudin, Sylvestre
Abstract:
The desire for male children is prevalent in India, where son preference has been shown to affect fertility behavior and intrahousehold allocation of resources. Economic theory predicts less gender discrimination in wealthier households, but demographers and sociologists have argued that wealth can exacerbate bias in the Indian context. I argue that these apparently conflicting theories can be reconciled and simultaneously tested if one considers that they are based on two different notions of wealth: one related to resource constraints (absolute wealth), and the other to notions of local status (relative wealth). Using cross-sectional data from the 1998-1999 and 2005-2006 National Family and Health Surveys, I construct measures of absolute and relative wealth by using principal components analysis. A series of statistical models of son preference is estimated by using multilevel methods. Results consistently show that higher absolute wealth is strongly associated with lower son preference, and the effect is 20%-40% stronger when the household's community-specific wealth score is included in the regression. Coefficients on relative wealth are positive and significant although lower in magnitude. Results are robust to using different samples, alternative groupings of households in local areas, different estimation methods, and alternative dependent variables.
Citation:
Gaudin, Sylvestre. 2011. "Son Preference In Indian Families: Absolute Versus Relative Wealth Effects." Demography 48(1): 343-370.
Publisher:
Paa Population Association of America
DATE ISSUED:
2011-02
Department:
Economics
Type:
article
PUBLISHED VERSION:
10.1007/s13524-010-0006-z
PERMANENT LINK:
http://hdl.handle.net/11282/310126

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorGaudin, Sylvestreen_US
dc.date.accessioned2013-12-23T16:25:59Z-
dc.date.available2013-12-23T16:25:59Z-
dc.date.issued2011-02en
dc.identifier.citationGaudin, Sylvestre. 2011. "Son Preference In Indian Families: Absolute Versus Relative Wealth Effects." Demography 48(1): 343-370.en_US
dc.identifier.issn0070-3370en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11282/310126-
dc.description.abstractThe desire for male children is prevalent in India, where son preference has been shown to affect fertility behavior and intrahousehold allocation of resources. Economic theory predicts less gender discrimination in wealthier households, but demographers and sociologists have argued that wealth can exacerbate bias in the Indian context. I argue that these apparently conflicting theories can be reconciled and simultaneously tested if one considers that they are based on two different notions of wealth: one related to resource constraints (absolute wealth), and the other to notions of local status (relative wealth). Using cross-sectional data from the 1998-1999 and 2005-2006 National Family and Health Surveys, I construct measures of absolute and relative wealth by using principal components analysis. A series of statistical models of son preference is estimated by using multilevel methods. Results consistently show that higher absolute wealth is strongly associated with lower son preference, and the effect is 20%-40% stronger when the household's community-specific wealth score is included in the regression. Coefficients on relative wealth are positive and significant although lower in magnitude. Results are robust to using different samples, alternative groupings of households in local areas, different estimation methods, and alternative dependent variables.en_US
dc.publisherPaa Population Association of Americaen_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1007/s13524-010-0006-z-
dc.subject.departmentEconomicsen_US
dc.titleSon Preference In Indian Families: Absolute Versus Relative Wealth Effectsen_US
dc.typearticleen_US
dc.identifier.journalDemographyen_US
dc.subject.keywordGenderen_US
dc.subject.keywordIndiaen_US
dc.subject.keywordMultilevel modelen_US
dc.subject.keywordRelative wealthen_US
dc.subject.keywordSon preferenceen_US
dc.identifier.volume48en_US
dc.identifier.issue1en_US
dc.identifier.startpage343en_US
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