Parental Son Preference and Children’s Housework: The Indian Case

Tin-chi Lin, Princeton University
Alicia Adsera, Princeton University

Son preference in South Asia results in many unintended consequences, such as girls’ under-nutrition. This study focuses on one potential manifestation of son preference----an uneven distribution of housework between boys and girls. “Housework” is not trivial since it accounts for the majority of children’s labor in the developing world, and too many hours of housework are likely to crowd out children’s opportunity for schooling and leisure. We choose India as the study case because parental son preference is prevalent and national statistics indicate that child work remains common. We employ the National Family Health Survey of India, 2005. We use several strategies to measure son preference. Results confirm our hypothesis: in the presence of parental son preference, girls, but not boys, perform more domestic chores. In the paper we examine how the effect of parental son preference interacts with other factors such as religion and regional effects.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 7