The Role of Gender Preference to the Third Birth in Japan: Magnitude, Trends and Implications

Miho Iwasawa, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Tokyo

It is well known that under the strong gender differentiation, the sex composition of previous children has a pronatalist effect. To understand the change in the third birth fertility in Japan, I focus on the role of the gender preference of children to the parity progression. Using the birth history data from the national fertility surveys, the period parity progression ratios from the 1930s to the 2000s are calculated by the sex composition of previous two children. I found that the positive effect of the same sex children still exists, but the contribution of the sex of the first two children has changed over times. Son preference effect, which was prominent in the 1950s and the 1960s, has been declined. After the period of balance in son and daughter preference, daughter preference exceeds son preference after the 1990s. I discuss the associated social environment in Japan.

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Presented in Session 183: Fertility Intentions and Influences Upon