Son Preference and Child Labor in Nepal: The Household Impact of Sending Girls to Work

Posted: 11 Oct 2006 Last revised: 20 May 2010

Abstract

This paper presents evidence that increased earnings opportunities for girls can lower household preference for sons, as measured by the household's average reported ideal number of sons relative to ideal number of children. Using the 1995-96 Nepal Living Standards Survey, I find that reported preference for sons decreases by about one boy if expected wages for girls increase to about 20 to 25 rupees per day. Anthropometric outcomes for girls, measured using weight-for-height z-scores, also improve significantly in households where there is a lower reported son preference, while there is no corresponding change in sons' health.

Keywords: Son preference, child labor, anthropometric outcomes

JEL Classification: O12, J13, J23, I1

Suggested Citation

Koolwal, Gayatri B., Son Preference and Child Labor in Nepal: The Household Impact of Sending Girls to Work. World Development, May 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=936254

Gayatri B. Koolwal (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

United States

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