January 25 - Dahl and Moretti

January 25 - Dahl and Moretti - Dahl and Moretti, The...

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Dahl and Moretti, “The Demand for Sons” 1. Main findings and conclusions A. ceteris paribus… if first-born is a girl, father significantly less likely to be living w/his kids women w/first-born girls more likely to have never married women w/first-born girls less likely to have “shotgun weddings” parents w/first-born girls more likely to be divorced divorced dads less likely to get custody of daughters than sons B. as implied above, many different marriage outcomes can be affected by kids’ sex C. possible hypotheses/explanations: gender bias hypothesis : preference for boys role model hypothesis : boys need dads as role models more than girls need moms differential cost hypothesis : girls more costly to raise than boys D. key idea: some empirical outcomes are predicted by more than one hypothesis – so, these outcomes don’t allow us to accept one hypothesis or rule out the other(s) key question: is an empirical outcome predicted by one hypothesis but not others? E. only the gender bias hypothesis seems able to predict what the data show: families w/first-born daughters are likely to have additional children
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2. Basic theoretical model and hypotheses A. utility for husband and wife depends on children, income and “shocks” (= random events); partners decide whether to have more kids, divorce, etc. B. all three hypotheses predict divorce more likely if first-born is a girl: gender bias : marriages w/boys are happier, utility loss from divorce greater if kid is a boy role model : boy needs dad as role model more than girl (losing dad imposes greater cost on boy than on girl), so dad more likely to stick around differential cost : boys easier and cheaper to raise than girls thus, based only on relation between sex of kids and divorce, we can’t distinguish between the three hypotheses! C.
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January 25 - Dahl and Moretti - Dahl and Moretti, The...

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