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American Economic Review: Vol. 98 No. 5 (December 2008)

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Can Hepatitis B Mothers Account for the Number of Missing Women? Evidence from Three Million Newborns in Taiwan

Article Citation

Lin, Ming-Jen, and Ming-Ching Luoh. 2008. "Can Hepatitis B Mothers Account for the Number of Missing Women? Evidence from Three Million Newborns in Taiwan." American Economic Review, 98(5): 2259-73.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.5.2259

Abstract

The "missing women" phenomenon in many Asian countries has previously been regarded as the result of son preference. However, some studies have argued half of the missing women can be explained by infection with Hepatitis B virus (HBV). We demonstrate that the probability of having a male birth is only slightly higher for HBV mothers than for mothers without HBV. The sex ratio at birth rises for the higher birth order and that in families where the first two children are female. Our findings suggest that HBV status has little impact on the missing women phenomenon. (JEL I12, J16)

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Authors

Lin, Ming-Jen (National Taiwan U)
Luoh, Ming-Ching (National Taiwan U)

JEL Classifications

I12: Health Production
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination


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