Son preference in Japan

Wataru Kureishi, Midori Wakabayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


We examine the sex preference in Japan, using Japanese microdata, and find that parents in the 1920-1939 cohort have a lexicographic son preference. Further, the lexicographic son preference disappears in subsequent cohorts and a mixed preference is observed in parents with two children. These results are supported when the parents' socioeconomic background is considered. Cohort effects such as weakening son preference and emerging mixed preference are observed. Moreover, when husbands are the eldest sons, a lexicographic son preference is observed only in the 1920-1939 cohort, although it persists in the subsequent cohorts when husbands are farmers/self-employed workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-893
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Population Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul


  • Fertility
  • Sex preference
  • Son preference


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