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Child Gender, Intergenerational Kinship and Parental Labor Market Outcomes

by Qing Wang

ARTICLE | Review of Development Economics | Vol. 19, 2015


This paper provides new evidence of the effects of child gender on parental labor market outcomes. Using data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, I document a son premium on the intensive margin of parental labor supply in two-parent families with one child. Parents with a newborn to a 6-year-old son have higher labor supply than parents with a daughter in the same age group. A further examination indicates that boys are likely to have better access to grandparent-provided childcare than girls owing to grandson preference, and this allows parents with a preschool-aged son to work more. The intensification of market work associated with having a son may affect economic outcomes over the lifecycle of parents through labor market attachment. This paper thus sheds light on the important distributional effects of family ties and culture on economic outcomes.