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Economics | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Health Economics | Women's Studies


Notwithstanding improvements in female work and educational achievements persistent and increasing female survival disadvantage is a feature of urban India’s demography. A temporal and cross sectional analysis of most recent available data from the Census of India while reaffirming the positive association between female work and the birth and survival of more female children, fails to reconfirm the oft emphasized positive connection between female education and increased survival of girl children. Relatively high levels of female education, by being indicative of household socioeconomic status may be associated with increased ability to discriminate especially in the presence of cultural biases resulting in low female participation in the labor market, persistence of dowry payments and lack of female property rights. As educational achievements of urban Indian women improve, gender discrimination in birth and survival of female children may therefore intensify as a cumulative effect of socioeconomic factors continuing to favor sons.


This is the author's revised version of an article that was subsequently published as Mukherjee, Sucharita S. "Women's Empowerment and Gender Bias in the Birth and Survival of Girls in Urban India." Feminist Economics. 19.1 (2013): 1-28. DOI:10.1080/13545701.2012.752312