Skewed sex ratios: how to explain survival inequality by gender – a focus study on India.

Project: Research

Project Details


The aim of this research project is to expand and clarify India's female
deficit in a more consistent and comprehensive way. This is pertinent as it is
an important ethical issue, but also has socio-economic implications for the
Indian society both in the medium and long term.
The project will be carried out using the available datasets on India, that are
sufficiently large and disaggregated per state to make it possible to
undertake cross sectional studies at different stages in time.
The investigation will be done by means of addressing a variety of reasons
that affect skewed population sex ratios in India, such as, sex ratios at birth,
mortality/morbidity rates, and migration flows. Interestingly, family size in
India is important in explaining excess female mortality rates. Under the
target rule, defined as not having children beyond the desired number of
sons, girls tend to live in larger families compared to boys, and these girls -
due to higher intrafamily competition on resources- face higher death rates.
It is though a challenge to disentangle all the indirect effects on higher
mortality rates that larger family size implies (less breastfeeding, higher
malnutrition, lower educational attainment etc.). The identification strategy
and analysis of the factors causing sex unbalances and their roots will be
based on linear parametric fixed effect regressions, survival models,
matching models or simple accounting exercises. Afterwards, the research
would explore the resulting consequences of these sex unbalances on the
marriage and dowry market as well as criminality. This comprises to build a
theoretical model to perform inter-temporal predictions at the medium and
long term. Eventually, the goal will also be to convey possible remediable
Short titleSex ratios and gender inequality
Effective start/end date1/10/1630/09/18

Attachment to an Research Institute in UNAMUR

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