Seminar at University of Michigan

I gave a seminar at the Population Studies Center at University of Michigan Monday 9 March 2009. The paper, "The Demand for Sex Selective Abortions," is still work in progress, but the presentation is here. Note that since this is work in progress methods and results might/will change, especially in light of the very useful comments I got during my visit. The abstract is:

One of the major changes that have taken place in India over the last two decades is a significant shift in the sex ratio at birth, as techniques for prenatal sex determination have become more widely available. There has, however, been little analysis of which factors influence the decision to abort female fetuses at the individual level. Furthermore, the sparse literature does not address the relationship between fertility, spacing and the demand for sex selective abortions, which may lead to biased estimates of the determinants of sex selective abortions. Using data from the three rounds of the National Family and Health Survey this paper relies on the observed spacing between births to examine the determinants of the demand for sex selective abortions. By employing a discrete hazard model it is possible to simultaneously control for the fertility and abortion decisions, while taking account of censoring and unobservable characteristics that might affect either.

How much has abortions increased among the very young in Denmark?

Many newspapers in Denmark reported on 17 February 2009 that there has been an alarming increase in the number of abortions among girls below 15 years of age. One paper ( in Danish) reported it as a more than 200 percent increase over a decade. In 1998 there were 33 abortions among girls less than 15 years of age, while in 2007 there were 113 for the same age group. Looking for an explanation one paper (Jyllands-Posten in Danish) interviewed a doctor who said that the increase was due to deteriorating sex education in schools and lack of communication between parents and girls.

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