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Title: The dynamics of prenatal sex selection and excess female child mortality in contexts with son preference
Author: Kashyap, Ridhi
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 1157
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines demographic manifestations of son preference in three parts. Part I develops a simulation model that formalises the decision to practice prenatal sex selection through a "ready, willing and able" framework. The model is calibrated to South Korean and Indian sex ratio at birth (SRB) trajectories. Simulations reveal how SRB distortions in both countries have emerged despite declining son preference due to the rapid diusion of ultrasound combined with growing propensities to abort as a result of weakening norms for large families. Part II examines the potential role of big data to indirectly estimate the SRB at the subnational level in India. States with distorted SRBs tend to display a relatively high Google search activity for ultrasound. SRB "now-casts" generated using search volumes perform better than lagged variable models in high birth registration states. Part III examines the relationship between prenatal sex selection and postnatal excess female child mortality in two studies. The first applies lifetable techniques to decompose population changes in child sex ratios into a fertility component attributable to prenatal sex selection and a mortality component attributable to sex-differentials in postnatal survival. This study finds that although reductions in numbers of excess female deaths have accompanied increases in "missing" female births in all countries experiencing SRB distortions, excess female mortality has persisted in some but not in others. The second study uses birth histories of the Demographic and Health Surveys for six countries that have witnessed SRB distortions - India, Nepal, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Albania - to examine if differential mortality change by sex can be explained by the uptake of prenatal sex selection. This study finds that changes in prenatal sex selection only explain mortality change in India. Across all countries, although patterns of mortality disadvantage are concentrated amongst less educated mothers, prenatal sex selection is strongest among the better educated. Differential sorting into the two behaviours offers an explanation for why the effect for prenatal sex selection is generally weak.
Supervisor: Billari, Francesco Sponsor: Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Demography ; Sociology ; Social Statistics ; Excess female mortality ; Asia ; Son Preference ; Sex Selection ; Mortality ; Sex Ratios at Birth ; Missing women ; Fertility