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The Determinants of Sex-Selective Abortions

  • 2006-2010
  • Project
Pörtner, Claus, University of Washington
Study: ʺThe Determinants of Sex-Selective Abortions”
PI(s): Pörtner, Claus
Affiliation(s): University of Washington
Institutional Partner(s): World Bank
Project Dates:
Start: 2006
End: August 2010
Data Source(s): Survey Data
Methods: Econometric Models
Geographic Location(s): India

Description:
There is an unequal sex ratio in India, which is due to a traditionally strong preference for sons, excess mortality for girls, and declining fertility. The rate of sex-selective abortions has risen due to legal abortion (from 1971), access to prenatal sex determination, and the increasing sex ratio at birth in India. Previous research on sex-selective abortions has ignored the interactions between fertility, birth spacing, and sex selection. This paper presents a novel approach that jointly estimates the determinants of sex-selective abortions, fertility, and birth spacing, using data from India’s National Family and Health Surveys. The results show that after sex selection became illegal, well-educated Indian women were more likely to get an abortion, whereas women with less education have substantially higher fertility and do not appear to use sex-selection.

Research Outputs:
Pörtner, Claus C. (2010). Sex Selective Abortions, Fertility, and Birth Spacing (University of Washington Department of Economics Working Paper No. UWEC-2010-04-R). DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.1615833

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