Son Preference, Fertility Decline and Non-Missing Girls of Turkey

Onur Altindag, Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)

Son preference is usually revealed by both gender discrimination in relative care and son targeting fertility stopping rules. This article shows that couples in Turkey exhibit strong son preference without a gender imbalance in the population. Estimation results reveal that first-born daughter increases the average sibship size by 6.6 percent through male-biased differential stopping fertility behavior. Contraceptive use is the primary tool to halt fertility following a male birth among young couples. Families are much less likely to seek sons if mother is educated while the father's education has no association with the degree of son preference. The differential demand for sons is persistent despite economic development and decline in fertility predicted by more schooling, higher age at first birth and urbanization along with other endogenous determinants. The relationship between degree of son preference and fertility follows a hump-shaped path reaching a peak at the medium fertility level.

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 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors