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psc brown bag iconThe Demand for Sex Selective Abortions

Claus Portner (Department of Economics, University of Washington)

03/09/2009, at noon in room 6050 ISR-Thompson.

One of the major changes that have taken place in India over the last two decades is a significant shift in the sex ratio at birth, as techniques for prenatal sex determination have become more widely available. There has, however, been little analysis of which factors influence the decision to abort female fetuses at the individual level. Furthermore, the sparse literature does not address the relationship between fertility, spacing and the demand for sex selective abortions, which may lead to biased estimates of the determinants of sex selective abortions. Using data from the three rounds of the National Family and Health Survey this paper relies on the observed spacing between births to examine the determinants of the demand for sex selective abortions. By employing a discrete hazard model it is possible to simultaneously control for the fertility and abortion decisions, while taking account of censoring and unobservable characteristics that might affect either.


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