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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Gender Ratio


The Challenge of World Poverty MIT Course 14.73

Esther Duflo, and Abhijit Banerjee




"Second thing is going on almost surely is a lot of post-birth, I think, murder is the only word you could use." - Esther Duflo, and Abhijit Banerjee, The Challenge of World Poverty MIT Course 14.73 (2011)

China's gender ratio overall is about 1:1.21; the worse state in India 1:1.41. Areas where male jobs dominate exasperate the ratio. It's less worse, or perhaps even slightly reversed where female jobs such as picking tea leaves pay well.

"You see in like the richer parts of India, signs up would say, would you rather spend basically $100 now or $10,000 later? The idea is that you're to give dowry for your daughter to get her married. And that's your cost." The signs advertise prenatal gender checks.

On the other hand, while parents won't have to save for a dowry, they have to save for a nice house or apartment to make their son marriageable. Banerjee thinks this competition may re-balance things some.