China's one child policy and distorted sex ratios: Nature versus nurture and the mystery of the vanishing women

E.H. Bulte, X.L. Zhang, N. Heerink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Recent estimates suggest that as many as 40 million women are ‘missing’ in China. We exploit a special provision in the Chinese one-child policy (OCP; allowing for preferential treatment of ethnic minority groups) to revisit the mystery of these missing women, and in particular to explore the contribution of China's OCP in distorting sex ratios. Our results imply that preference for boys is the main driver of the gender gap, and that the OCP is responsible for about half of it. This is true even before ultrasound technologies for prenatal gender determination were available. Not surprisingly, interaction between the OCP and ultrasound technologies has contributed to the gender gap.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-39
JournalOxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics
Volume73
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

nature-nurture
sex ratio
China
Ultrasound
gender
national minority
Driver
driver
Imply
interaction
Interaction
Estimate
Children
Policy
Gender
Nature
Gender gap
Sex ratio
Group

Cite this

@article{824e875352224e4bb98a1bbde8576483,
title = "China's one child policy and distorted sex ratios: Nature versus nurture and the mystery of the vanishing women",
abstract = "Recent estimates suggest that as many as 40 million women are ‘missing’ in China. We exploit a special provision in the Chinese one-child policy (OCP; allowing for preferential treatment of ethnic minority groups) to revisit the mystery of these missing women, and in particular to explore the contribution of China's OCP in distorting sex ratios. Our results imply that preference for boys is the main driver of the gender gap, and that the OCP is responsible for about half of it. This is true even before ultrasound technologies for prenatal gender determination were available. Not surprisingly, interaction between the OCP and ultrasound technologies has contributed to the gender gap.",
author = "E.H. Bulte and X.L. Zhang and N. Heerink",
year = "2010",
language = "English",
volume = "73",
pages = "21--39",
journal = "Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics",
issn = "0305-9049",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "1",

}

China's one child policy and distorted sex ratios : Nature versus nurture and the mystery of the vanishing women. / Bulte, E.H.; Zhang, X.L.; Heerink, N.

In: Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 73, No. 1, 2010, p. 21-39.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - China's one child policy and distorted sex ratios

T2 - Nature versus nurture and the mystery of the vanishing women

AU - Bulte, E.H.

AU - Zhang, X.L.

AU - Heerink, N.

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Recent estimates suggest that as many as 40 million women are ‘missing’ in China. We exploit a special provision in the Chinese one-child policy (OCP; allowing for preferential treatment of ethnic minority groups) to revisit the mystery of these missing women, and in particular to explore the contribution of China's OCP in distorting sex ratios. Our results imply that preference for boys is the main driver of the gender gap, and that the OCP is responsible for about half of it. This is true even before ultrasound technologies for prenatal gender determination were available. Not surprisingly, interaction between the OCP and ultrasound technologies has contributed to the gender gap.

AB - Recent estimates suggest that as many as 40 million women are ‘missing’ in China. We exploit a special provision in the Chinese one-child policy (OCP; allowing for preferential treatment of ethnic minority groups) to revisit the mystery of these missing women, and in particular to explore the contribution of China's OCP in distorting sex ratios. Our results imply that preference for boys is the main driver of the gender gap, and that the OCP is responsible for about half of it. This is true even before ultrasound technologies for prenatal gender determination were available. Not surprisingly, interaction between the OCP and ultrasound technologies has contributed to the gender gap.

M3 - Article

VL - 73

SP - 21

EP - 39

JO - Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics

JF - Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics

SN - 0305-9049

IS - 1

ER -