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Son Preference, Fertility and Family Structure : Evidence from Reproductive Behavior among Nigerian Women

ADULT MORTALITY ADULTS AGED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES BIOLOGICAL CHILD BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN BIOLOGICAL FATHERS BIRTH SPACING BREASTFEEDING CHILD BIRTH CHILD CARE CHILD DEATH CHILD HEALTH CHILD LABOR CHILD MORTALITY CHILDBIRTH CHILDLESSNESS COMPLICATIONS CONTRACEPTIVE METHOD CONTRACEPTIVE USE CONTRACEPTIVES CONTROL OVER RESOURCES CUSTODY CUSTOMARY LAW DECEASED HUSBAND DEMOGRAPHERS DESCENT DEVELOPMENT POLICY DISPARITIES IN HEALTH DIVORCE DOMESTIC CHORES DRINKING WATER DYING EFFECTS OF GENDER EITHER SEX EQUALITY ETHNIC GROUPS EXCESS MORTALITY EXTENDED FAMILY FAMILIES FAMILY HEALTH FAMILY INCOME FAMILY MEMBERS FAMILY SIZE FAMILY STRUCTURE FAMILY STRUCTURES FAMILY TIES FATHER FATHERS FEMALE FEMALE CHILDREN FEMALE EDUCATION FEMALE MORTALITY FEMALES FERTILITY FERTILITY BEHAVIOR FERTILITY PREFERENCES FERTILITY RATE FETAL GROWTH FEWER CHILDREN FIRST BIRTH FIRST BIRTHS FIRST CHILD FIRST MARRIAGE FIRST PREGNANCY GENDER BIAS GENDER DIFFERENCES GENDER DISPARITIES GENDER PREFERENCES GIRL CHILDREN HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE SERVICES HEALTH FACILITIES HEALTH STATUS HEALTH STATUS OF MOTHERS HIV/AIDS HOUSEHOLD COMPOSITION HOUSEHOLD LEVEL HOUSEHOLD SIZE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT HUSBAND HUSBANDS IMMIGRANTS INFANT INFANT MORTALITY INFANT MORTALITY RATES INFANTICIDE INFERTILITY INHERITANCE INHERITANCE RIGHTS INSURANCE INTERVAL BETWEEN BIRTHS ISLAMIC LAW KINSHIP LAND OWNERSHIP LIFETIME RISK LIVE BIRTHS LOWER FERTILITY MALE CONDOM MALE RELATIVES MARITAL STATUS MARRIAGE AGE MARRIAGES MARRIED MEN MARRIED WOMEN MATERNAL CARE MATERNAL DEATH MATERNAL DEATHS MATERNAL HEALTH MATERNAL HEALTH OUTCOMES MATERNAL MORTALITY METHOD OF CONTRACEPTION MODERNIZATION MOTHER NO MORE CHILDREN NUMBER OF BIRTHS NUMBER OF CHILDREN NUMBER OF DEATHS NUMBER OF GIRLS NUTRITIONAL STATUS OLDER WOMEN OPPOSITE SEX ORPHANS OWNERSHIP OF LAND PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT PARENTS PILLS POLICY DISCUSSIONS POLICY IMPLICATIONS POLICY RESEARCH POLICY RESEARCH WORKING PAPER POLYGYNY PREFERENCE FOR SONS PREGNANCIES PREGNANCY PREGNANT WOMEN PROGRESS PROPERTY RIGHTS PUBLIC SERVICES RELIGIOUS PRACTICES REPRODUCTIVE BEHAVIOR REPRODUCTIVE GOAL REPRODUCTIVE YEARS RESIDENCE RESPECT RHYTHM METHOD RISK OF DEATH RURAL AREAS SCHOOLS SEX SEX OF THE FETUS SEX RATIO SEX RATIOS SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTION SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS SOCIAL PRESSURE SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS SON PREFERENCE SPOUSES TRADITIONAL PRACTICE UNEDUCATED WOMEN URBAN AREAS USE OF CONTRACEPTION USE OF CONTRACEPTIVES WIDOWS WIFE WILL WIVES WOMAN WOMEN'S HEALTH YOUNG AGES YOUNGER WOMEN
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Nigeria
2014-06-26T22:14:49Z | 2014-06-26T22:14:49Z | 2014-05

Strong boy-bias and its consequences for young and unborn girls have been widely documented for Asia. This paper considers a country in Sub-Saharan Africa and finds that parental gender preferences do affect fertility behavior and shape traditional social institutions with negative effects on adult women's health and well-being. Using individual-level data for Nigeria, the paper shows that, compared to women with first-born sons, women with first-born daughters have (and desire) more children and are less likely to use contraceptives. Women with daughters among earlier-born children are also more likely to have shorter birth intervals, a behavior medically known to increase the risk of child and maternal mortality. Moreover, they are more likely to end up in a polygynous union, to be divorced, and to be head of the household. The preference for sons is also supported by child fostering patterns in which daughters are substitutes for foster girls, while the same does not hold for sons and foster boys. These results can partly explain excess female mortality among adult women in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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