Citation

Discussion Paper Details

Please find the details for DP16890 in an easy to copy and paste format below:

Full Details   |   Bibliographic Reference

Full Details

Title: Economic development, female wages and missing female births in Spain, 1900-1930

Author(s): Francisco Beltrán Tapia and Rebeca Echávarri-Aguinaga

Publication Date: January 2022

Keyword(s): Gender Discrimination, gender wage gap, Industrialisation and Sex ratio at birth

Programme Area(s): Economic History

Abstract: Focusing on the years between 1900 and 1930, a period characterised by significant structural transformations and rapid economic growth. this article shows that Spain exhibited abnormally-high sex ratios at birth (SRB) at least until the 1920s. Apart from ruling out the possibility that female under-registration and different mortality environments solely explain the results reported here, the analysis of regional information indicates that SRB were higher in those provinces whose economic structure was dominated by agriculture and manufacturing (relative to the service sector). In addition, during the First World War period, which arguably subjected the Spanish economy to an exogenous demand shock, increased wages resulted in decreases in SRB in those province-years that reported male and female wages. Importantly, the protective role of female wages was twice as large as that of males. Likewise, in those provinces that published male but not female wages, increases in male wages had the opposite effect and increased the SRB, thus further supporting the link between relative labour returns and female neglect around birth. As expected, the relationship between wages and SRB vanished during the 20s along with the bias in SRB. These results stress that gender discrimination around birth does not necessarily vanishes with economic growth unless this process is not accompanied by expanding labour opportunities for women.

For full details and related downloads, please visit: https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16890

Bibliographic Reference

Beltrán Tapia, F and Echávarri-Aguinaga, R. 2022. 'Economic development, female wages and missing female births in Spain, 1900-1930'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research. https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16890