March 2017

IZA DP No. 10617: Did the Great Recession Affect Sex Ratios at Birth for Groups with a Son Preference?

forthcoming in: Economics Letters

This paper examines the extent to which the Great Recession affected gender composition at birth. We focus on ethnic minorities in the US known for a son preference – Chinese, Indians, and Koreans. Using the DID method, we find that in response to the Great Recession, the fraction of newborn boys increased among Chinese Americans. Our results suggest that a cultural norm, namely son preference, may be directly affected by economic conditions.