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Does Child Gender Affect Marital Status?

CollectionsANU Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
Title: Does Child Gender Affect Marital Status?
Author(s): Leigh, Andrew
Keywords: marriage
child gender
Date published: May-2006
Publisher: Canberra, ACT: Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), Research School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University
Series/Report no.: Discussion Paper no.526
Pooling microdata from five Australian censuses, I explore the relationship between child gender and divorce. By contrast with the United States, I find no evidence that the gender of the first child has a significant impact on the decision to marry or divorce. However, among two-child families, parents with two children of the same sex are 1.7 percentage points less likely to be married than parents with a boy and a girl. Surveys of parental attitudes suggest that this effect is more likely to be driven by fathers than by mothers. This finding is not consistent with theories of preference for sons over daughters, differential costs, role models or complementary costs, but is consistent with a theory of parity preference.
ISBN: 0 7315 3596 0
ISSN: 1442-8636


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