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Will sex selection reduce fertility?


This paper investigates both theoretically and numerically the impact of sex selection on fertility. A static quantity-quality model of fertility is employed to compare fertility choices in two regimes: one in which parents cannot choose the gender of children and another in which parents can fully choose the gender of children. The static theory shows that whether sex selection reduces fertility depends on the second and third derivatives of the utility function and the child expenditure function. A numerical dynamic analysis is also presented. Using empirical dynamic models of fertility and Monte Carlo integration technique, the simulation shows that sex selection on the firstborn child among the Chinese in Malaysia could reduce fertility by about 3%.

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I thank the referees for their comments. I am indebted to James Heckman for providing generous computing support. Computational facilities were funded by NICHD Grant HD-19226 and NSF Grant SES-84-11242 to the Economics Research Center, NORC.

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Leung, S.F. Will sex selection reduce fertility?. J Popul Econ 7, 379–392 (1994).

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  • Utility Function
  • Dynamic Analysis
  • Static Theory
  • Integration Technique
  • Expenditure Function