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American Economic Journal: Microeconomics: Vol. 3 No. 1 (February 2011)

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Sex Selection and Gender Balance

Article Citation

Bhaskar, V. 2011. "Sex Selection and Gender Balance." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 3(1): 214-44.

DOI: 10.1257/mic.3.1.214

Abstract

We model the equilibrium sex ratio when parents can choose the sex of their child. With intrinsic son preference, sex 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 most parts of India, cohort sizes are growing, implying an excess supply of women. (JEL J12, J13, J16, O15, P23)

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Authors

Bhaskar, V. (U College London)

JEL Classifications

J12: Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
O15: Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
P23: Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies: Factor and Product Markets; Industry Studies; Population

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