Gender Based Family Planning: An Analysis into Underlying Reasons for Male Preference in India Public Deposited

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  • February 26, 2019
  • Kaur, Atiyasha
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics
  • This paper explores the reasons behind gender bias and the skewed sex-ratio in India by looking at gender based family planning. Current literature suggests that regional factors, education, and age of mother are major factors—among others—that highly influence whether or not a family will have gender bias (towards boys). The question is approached by specifying a gender-based family planning based on Gary Becker’s demand for children model, but I have split demand for children into demand for male and female children. In this altered model, male and female children are competing commodities that require separate demand equations. Statistical tests show that the most important variables in the separate demand equations for male and female children are actually the same: age, region, education, wealth, religion, place of residency, and time of residency. All of these results are corrected using instrumental variable regression (IV) because the variable heard family messages is potentially endogenous. A multinomial logit model also shows that strong male preference probably is a bigger cause for skewed sex ratios than weak male preference, even though the latter is more common. This paper is the first one to see if heard family planning messages has a differing effect on the demand for male and female children, and multinomial logit results show that heard family planning message also decreases both weak and strong male preference.
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  • Funding: None
  • Guilkey, David
  • Bachelor of Arts
Honors level
  • Honors
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 66

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