Son Preference, Differential Stopping Behavior, and Fertility Outcomes

Sindhu Vasireddy , University of Hawaii at Manoa

This paper studies son preference through gender biased differential stopping behavior, and the impact of it on fertility outcomes in India. Existing literature indicates that parents with a high preference for sons use contraceptive methods to halt fertility following a male birth. I find that this differential stopping behavior favoring male children leads to reproductive decision-making where people decide to have a higher number of pregnancies, births, and lower contraceptive usage if the first-born child is female, leading towards girls being concentrated in larger families when compared to boys. These fertility outcomes prevail across households with lower fertility rates and differ by the age of the mother. I find further evidence in terms of health outcomes to show that having an older brother improves survival chances of the second children, especially if the second child is female.

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 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2