Child Gender and Parental Investments in India

Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently?

by Silvia Helena Barcellos, Leandro Carvalho, Adriana Lleras-Muney

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There is considerable debate in the literature as to whether boys and girls are treated differently in India. But son-biased stopping rules imply that previous estimates are likely to be biased. The authors propose a novel identification strategy to properly identify the effects of child gender on parental investments. Using data from a time use survey they document gender differences in childcare time which have not been studied before in developing countries. They find that boys receive on average 10% more time than girls. They are also more likely to be breastfed for longer, given vaccinations and vitamin supplementation.

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