Cross-Country Comparison: Policies, Patterns and Processes

  • Laura Rahm
Part of the Demographic Transformation and Socio-Economic Development book series (DTSD, volume 11)


This chapter provides a cross-country comparison of the policy response to sex selection. The comparison reveals that each country follows diverse policy intentions ranging from protecting fetal rights in Korea, to women’s rights in India, to a balanced population structure in Vietnam. The three countries all responded with similar policy instruments including legal bans, awareness-raising, gender equity laws, and incentives. These instruments are typically implemented in concert over extended periods. Nevertheless, these policies fell short on impact. They did not deliver what they were designed to do: to improve sex selection. Although SRB normalized in South Korea, this was not due to policy changes. Neither India nor Vietnam has been able to reverse their sex selection trends to date. Despite policy inefficacy, international organizations frequently promote the same policy ‘toolbox’ to internationally harmonize policy interventions across vastly different terrains. This policy transfer has contributed to policy convergence. However, there is room for policy translation, adaptation and different focal areas in how the three countries deal with sex selection and its consequences. As such, they have prioritized certain areas over others in the 3-M-Model. South Korea has focused on the magnitudes, India on methods and Vietnam on motives, partly due to their unique path dependency and the different SRB transitional stages the countries are in.


Comparative policy analysis Policy convergence and divergence Sex selection Policy impact South Korea India Vietnam 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Rahm
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Population and DevelopmentParisFrance

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