Child Gender and Parental Investments in India: Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently?

Silvia H. Barcellos, RAND Corporation
Leandro Carvalho, RAND Corporation
Adriana Lleras-Muney, Princeton University

Abstract. Previous research does not always find that boys and girls are treated differently in India. But son-biased stopping rules imply that previous estimates of the effect of gender on investments are likely to be biased. We propose a novel identification strategy to overcome this bias. We document that boys receive significant more childcare time compared to girls. In addition boys are more likely to be breastfed for longer, given vaccinations and vitamin supplementation. We find no evidence that the differential treatment of boys is due to their greater needs, or to the effect of anticipated family size.

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Presented in Session 70: Child and Family Policy