Differences in relative female employment by soil texture are used to
explain the heterogeneous deficit of female children across districts
within India. Soil texture varies exogenously and determines the
depth of land tillage. Deep tillage, possible in loamy but not in clayey
soil textures, reduces the demand for labor in agricultural tasks traditionally performed by women. Girls have a lower economic value
where female labor opportunities are fewer. Consistently, higher relative female employment in agriculture improves the ratio of female to male children in districts that have a smaller fraction of loamy relative to clayey soils.
"Soil Endowments, Female Labor Force Participation, and the Demographic Deficit of Women in India."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
Agricultural Labor Markets
Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products