An Empirical Study of Sex Selective Abortion in Nepal: Can Women's Empowerment Overpower Cultural Biases?
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A number of studies that look at the sex ratios at birth have found that after the legalization of abortion there is an increase in sex selection. This has resulted in high sex ratios that are problematic not only for economic, but also for social and moral reasons. In this study, I focus on the case in Nepal, where abortion was legalized in 2002. I test to see whether sex selection increased in Nepal post legalization and whether an increase in women’s autonomy leads to less selection. My findings show that there has indeed been an increase in sex selection post legalization. However, I do not find evidence that an increase in women’s autonomy leads to less sex selection.