How Missing Men Lead to Missing Women: Revising Natural Sex Ratios at Birth for the Fragile Male

le Lundi 08 Juin 2020 à l’Ined, salle Sauvy de 11h30 à 12h30 - Campus Condorcet - 9, cours des Humanités - CS 50004 - 93322 Aubervilliers Cedex

Présenté par : Joshua K. Wilde (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research) ; Discutante : Valentine Becquet (INED)

Estimates of missing women rely critically on estimates of the natural sex-ratio at birth (SRB). Current estimates ignore in utero male fragility, where male conceptions are disproportionately terminated in the presence of maternal stress. Using natality data from the United States, we document large correlations between a wide range of predictors of spontaneous terminations and SRBs, such as education, poverty, age, parity, birth interval, and even month, day, and time of birth. We show that controlling for maternal stress overturns many commonly held beliefs about natural SBRs. By correcting existing age, parity, and interval estimates by employing woman fixed effects, we show that there should be more “missing men” at birth than currently observed in many developing nations, implying that globally the number of missing women is underestimated by about 30%, and that 20% of the increased SRBs over the past 50 years are due naturally to the demographic transition.

Joshua K. Wilde

Joshua Wilde is a Research Scientist in the Labor Demography Group at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. Before coming to the MPIDR, Joshua was an assistant professor of Economics at the University of South Florida. He earned his PhD in economics from Brown University in 2011.

His research is in the field of Economic Demography and Development Economics, with an emphasis on the effects of fertility decline on both the macro and micro levels. He created the one of the leading models analyzing the general equilibrium consequences of fertility decline on income per capita in the developing world. He also studies the effect of in utero shocks on health and educational outcomes.