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Girls and boys: economic crisis, fertility, and birth outcomes

Lee, Soohyung and Orsini, Chiara (2018) Girls and boys: economic crisis, fertility, and birth outcomes. Journal of Applied Econometrics. ISSN 0883-7252

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Identification Number: 10.1002/jae.2646


We investigate the impact of an economic downturn on natality and birth weight for newborns when parents prefer sons. We examine South Korea, unexpectedly hit by the Asian financial crisis in 1997. For identification, we exploit regional and time variation in the crisis, focusing on women who were already pregnant when the downturn began. We find that the number of girls would have been 2% higher absent the crisis and that birth outcomes for girls were no better than those for boys—findings that differ from the Trivers–Willard Hypothesis. This relative disadvantage of girls is more severe among newborns who have at least two older siblings.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H0 - General
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2018 08:37
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:29

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