Economic, social and spatial dimensions of India's excess child masculinity

By Christophe Z. Guilmoto, Roger Depledge


This article examines the determinants of the current increase in the sex ratio among children in India in the light of regional data from the 2001 census. The marked disparities between districts, as revealed by measuring spatial autocorrelation, are a key to understanding these recent developments. They can be used to assess the relative influence of a large number of social and economic characteristics on inter-regional sex ratio variation. The specific effect of economic prosperity is shown to be clearly correlated with the rising sex ratio. Extended modelling of these regional variations, incorporating the spatial dimension, demonstrates the specific roles played by the sociological composition of the population, economic development and diffusion effects. The conclusion offers an interpretation of these various determinants of high sex ratio in India.

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