Friday, April 3, 2009

Missing Women.

Development Econ was interesting today.

We talked about "missing women" and why there should be more girls in the world than boys [no, not because we're just better. haha.]

"Missing women"
Given the shorter lifespan of men, the fact that more men work in more dangerous settings, etc, there should be more women than men in the world and not the other way around.
Missing women are a result of differences in nutrition provided to daughters vs. sons, differences in schooling [daughters may be exposed to more dangerous elements when they're not in school], etc.
Amartya Sen estimated that about 107 million (~10%) women were "missing" before sex selective abortions were possible in Africa.

One economist, Emily Oster, found high correlation between hepatitis B prevalence and likelihood of having sons. She hypothesized that "missing women" were a result of fewer women being born in countries with high hep. B rates.
This hypothesis was later dismissed because her study only looked at first borns, and results were not robust when looking at 2nd births.

Interesting facts:
Male fetuses are weaker and less likely to survive in high-stress environments.

Our Professor said that the sex of a fetus is not only determined by maternal stress, but also by paternal stress. Apparently, fighter pilots are more likely to have daughters than sons. She said Econ professors also tend to have more daughters than sons. [true of our own Econ department]
Someone in the class then raised her hand to say that you are also more likely to have daughters if you're more sexually active,

so either Econ profs are really stressed out, or they're really sexually active. Maybe they're both...

And you all thought economists weren't sexy.

1 comment:

  1. Another take on "missing women" not completely unrelated to development but a huge problem in China and Confucian-valued countries -