The Demand for Stepsons

Sara Ayllón, Universitat de Girona

Literature has shown that firstborn girls (as opposed to firstborn boys) increase the probability of parental divorce or living without a father in the United States. In this paper, I present evidence that firstborn girls also reduce the probability for their mothers of finding a new partner. That is, firstborn girls are more likely to be living without a stepfather in the United States. Men not only show a stronger demand for biological sons, they also show a greater preference for stepsons (as opposed to stepdaughters). Instead, stepmothers do not have any preference for the sex of their stepchildren.

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Presented in Session 148: Father-Child Relationships in Diverse Settings