Sex Selective Abortions, Fertility and Birth Spacing

My paper on sex selective abortions in India is now available here. The abstract is below:

This paper presents a novel approach to estimating the determinants of sex selective abortions, using individual level data on fertility, birth spacing and birth outcomes. The decisions on fertility, abortions and birth spacing are closely related but have received little empirical attention. Theory predicts that lower fertility leads to more sex selective abortions, but abortions also increase the space between births and the decision to use sex selection may change with the distance from last birth. Using data from three rounds of the Indian National Family and Health Survey, low fertility women are shown to use sex selective abortions, whereas households with low cost of children do not. Despite legal efforts to curtail sex selective abortions, use is increasing over time. For women with eight or more years of education, the number of sex selective abortions expected during their childbearing has gone up by six percent from 1985-1994 to 1995-2006 for both urban and rural women. At the same time their predicted fertility has fallen to below replacement level for urban women and only slightly above for rural women. Finally, ignoring birth spacing leads to bias when censoring is important.