Son Preference and Children’s Housework: The Case of India

Son Preference and Children’s Housework: The Case of India We use a nationally representative survey of Indian households (NFHS-3) to conduct the first study that analyzes whether son preference is associated with girls bearing a larger burden of housework than boys. Housework is a non-negligible part of child labor in which around 60 % of children in our sample are engaged. The preference for male offspring is measured by a mother’s ideal proportion of sons among her offspring. We show that when the ideal proportion increases from 0 to 1, the gap in the time spent on weekly housework for an average girl compared to that of a boy increases by 2.5 h. We conduct several robustness analyses. First, we estimate the main model separately by caste, religion, and family size. Second, we use a two-stage model to look at participation into housework (as well as other types of work) in addition to hours. Third, we use mother’s fertility intentions as an alternative measure of son preference. The analysis confirms that stated differences in male preference translate in de facto differences in girl’s treatment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Population Research and Policy Review Springer Journals

Son Preference and Children’s Housework: The Case of India

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Social Sciences, general; Demography; Sociology, general; Population Economics
ISSN
0167-5923
eISSN
1573-7829
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11113-013-9269-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We use a nationally representative survey of Indian households (NFHS-3) to conduct the first study that analyzes whether son preference is associated with girls bearing a larger burden of housework than boys. Housework is a non-negligible part of child labor in which around 60 % of children in our sample are engaged. The preference for male offspring is measured by a mother’s ideal proportion of sons among her offspring. We show that when the ideal proportion increases from 0 to 1, the gap in the time spent on weekly housework for an average girl compared to that of a boy increases by 2.5 h. We conduct several robustness analyses. First, we estimate the main model separately by caste, religion, and family size. Second, we use a two-stage model to look at participation into housework (as well as other types of work) in addition to hours. Third, we use mother’s fertility intentions as an alternative measure of son preference. The analysis confirms that stated differences in male preference translate in de facto differences in girl’s treatment.

Journal

Population Research and Policy ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 31, 2013

References

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