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IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Work in Progress Seminar

Firstborn Girls and Family Structure: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa

Garance Genicot (Georgetown University), joint with Maria Hernandez-de-Benito

Thursday 09 May 2024 13:00 - 14:00

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Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

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About this event

This paper examines the impact of son preference on family structure in sub-Saharan Africa using Demographic and Health Surveys data. We investigate how having a firstborn daughter, as opposed to a son, affects women’s likelihood of ever being married, being in a polygamous relationship, and remaining married. Our findings reveal distinct family outcomes for women with a firstborn daughter. They experience higher long-term marriage ates, a reduced likelihood of marrying the father if the birth occurred prior to any formal marital commitment, increased divorce rates, and more frequent entry into polygamous unions. Additionally, they tend to have more children. Using regression discontinuity nalysis along matrilineal-patrilineal ethnic borders, we identify patrilineal tradition as a significant explanatory factor for these outcomes.

This seminar series is jointly organized by the IFS, STICERD, and UCL.

IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Economics Work In Progress seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 13:00-14:00, at the IFS, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Oriana Bandiera (STICERD, LSE), Imran Rasul (UCL), Britta Augsburg (IFS) and Jonathan Weigel (LSE).

For further information please contact Britta Augsburg:

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