The desire for smaller families is conjectured as one reason the male-to-female sex ratio has increased with economic development in several countries. Families that strongly want at least one son are less likely to obtain him by chance at low fertility, which could increase their use of sex-selective abortion. This paper quantifies the relationship between desired fertility and the sex ratio in India by eliciting sex composition preferences at specified fertility levels. I find that the desired sex ratio increases sharply as fertility falls and that fertility decline explains one third to one half of India's recent sex ratio increase.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)