Fertility decline and missing women

Seema Jayachandran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The desire for smaller families is conjectured as one reason the male-to-female sex ratio has increased with economic development in several countries. Families that strongly want at least one son are less likely to obtain him by chance at low fertility, which could increase their use of sex-selective abortion. This paper quantifies the relationship between desired fertility and the sex ratio in India by eliciting sex composition preferences at specified fertility levels. I find that the desired sex ratio increases sharply as fertility falls and that fertility decline explains one third to one half of India's recent sex ratio increase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-139
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


Dive into the research topics of 'Fertility decline and missing women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this