Intra-household decision-making and ‘height of children’

…once the family has a son  in India, prenatal inputs decline with subsequent pregnancies. Girls born before the eldest son actually fare better than boys born after the eldest son, and girls born after the eldest son fare the worst…

From an interesting recent paper by Seema Jayachandran and Rohini Pande – where the broader point is that the height of children seem to correlate positively with their order of birth – the first is tallest and so on, driven mainly by the differences in nutrition status of pregnant mothers from one pregnancy to the next. That this is a result of intra-household decision-making is evident from the fact that the husband’s nutritional intake remains the same, compared to the wife’s

The only deviance seems to be in the cases where a girl is the first-born, where the boy-preference kicks in and possibly positively impacts the height of the second child…


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