Monday, August 11, 2008

missing women and the price of tea in china

In developing countries, there are often more male children than female children, and male children often achieve a higher level of education. Nancy Qian (Brown University) considers whether increasing female income may affect these gender differences. To do so properly, she uses a creative data source to consider exogenous changes in income that tend to affect women differently than men. From the abstract:
This paper uses exogenous increases in sex-specific agricultural income caused by post-Mao reforms in China to estimate the effects of total income and sex-specific income on sex-differential survival of children. Increasing female income, holding male income constant, improves survival rates for girls, whereas increasing male income, holding female income constant, worsens survival rates for girls. Increasing female income increases educational attainment of all children, whereas increasing male income decreases educational attainment for girls and has no effect on boys' educational attainment.
Read the article.

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