This project will examine the role of sub-caste identity in offspring sex-selection in India. Sub-caste membership embodies hypergamous marriage practices and status hierarchy, which historically encouraged offspring sex-selection in favor of sons. Today, despite dramatic changes in gender-specific social roles, rapid economic development, and urbanization, offspring sex-selection in favor of sons not only persists but has also increased. In exploring the relationship between sub-caste identity and offspring sex-selection, this project will focus on two broad factors that potentially affect the transmission of sub-caste norms and practices across generations. The first factor is the socio-economic characteristics of parents, including their education, work participation, occupational choice, standard of living, land ownership, religion, family structure, type of residence, and exposure to media. The second factor is the degree of ethnic heterogeneity and sub-caste composition in a households'region of residence. The relationship between sub-caste identity and sex-ratios will be examined in the context of these two factors using data from the Second National Family and Health Survey (NFHS-II) in India, conducted in 1998-99.
This project will explore how sub-caste identity influences offspring sex-selection in India in the context of two broad factors - socio-economic characteristics and ethnic heterogeneity - which may be instrumental in strengthening or weakening this relationship via the inter-generational transmission of sub-caste norms and practices.