Siwan Anderson, Debraj Ray, 10 October 2015

The developing world has notoriously low female-to-male sex ratios, a phenomenon that has been described as ‘missing women’. It is argued that this is driven by parental preferences for sons, sex-selective abortion, and different levels of care during infancy. This column shows that these higher rates of female mortality continue into adulthood. It argues that being unmarried, especially through widowhood, can have substantial effects on relative rates of female mortality in the developing world.

Stephan Klasen, 30 August 2008

Robert Barro and Steven Levitt, in their role as popular columnists, promoted a Harvard graduate student’s article which refuted Amartya Sen’s claim that discrimination accounted for the 100 million “missing women”. In his role as editor, Levitt published the article in the Journal of Political Economy. Now that the article’s central claim has been refuted – most notably by its author – it’s time to tell the ‘morality tale’.

Stephan Klasen, 28 August 2008

More than 100 million women are “missing” in developing countries. A popular paper recently attributed unbalanced sex ratios at birth, particularly in China, to Hepatitis B. This column summarises a large body of evidence refuting that claim. Discrimination, not biology, remains to blame.


CEPR Policy Research