Intervention dans le cadre du séminaire de l’Institut de l’Asie orientale
Jeudi 4 décembre 2014, Salle de réunion de l’IAO (R66), de 14h à 15h30
Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon
15 Parvis René Descartes, Lyon
Son preference characterizes many Asian societies. In India the use of modern technology has led to an artificially high sex ratio in favour of boys at birth and a large number of “missing women” in the population. Is this a modern phenomenon ? The paper uses Indian census data from 1901 and shows the prevalence of son preference in some regions of the country. This regional variation can also be found in the census of 2001 suggesting that use of modern technology has accentuated the bias in the sex ratio, but the bias can be traced back to the 19th century
The preference for sons creates a shortage of brides in the marriage market. Using the census1931, the paper finds that a low marriage rate for men in the regions that have a preference for sons. The long run changes show that a marriage squeeze has reduced the surplus of men in all regions ; however the regional differences in son preference and marriage outcomes remain the same in 2001.