New Delhi, India, Sep 29, 2018 / 14:01 pm
A study from the University of Essex has found a link between the global price of gold and the survival rate for Indian baby girls. Monthly increases in the price of gold between 1972-2005, the study argues, led to girls being more likely to be aborted, die in the first month of life, or suffer from stunted growth.
The study also concluded that dowries are a major contributing factor to India's gender imbalance. Sex-selective abortion, though illegal since 2015, has been widely practiced since the 1980s, and nationwide men outnumber women by nearly 37 million. There are also an estimated 21 million "unwanted" girls who have been born in the country.
"Our contribution is to provide what we believe is the first clear evidence of causal effects of dowry costs on son preferring behaviours," said Sonia Bhalotra, a professor of economics and the author of the study.
Dowries are a transfer of parental property upon marriage of a daughter, a practice still widely found in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, despite being illegal in India since 1961.