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This paper investigates the differential inputs in health care of children in the context of sex-biased discrimination due to the remaining son-preference in South Korea. The country experienced drastic economic growth and improvement in women’s socioeconomic status which contributed to the reversion of sex ratio at birth to natural level. Despite these changes, there are several evidences that preference for son still exists in Korea. We aim to examine the impact of son-preference on the parents’ medical investment decision for their children. By utilizing the difference-in-differences method and exploiting the regional variation in strength of son-preference, we find that the gender gap in medical expenditure is much lower for girl in the son-preference regions. In addition, from the intensity analysis using the sex ratio at birth measured for 20 years after parent’s birth, we find the evidence that social and cultural atmosphere that parents exposed in their childhood is influential to parental decision for sex-biased investment.

1. Introduction

2. The son-preference in South Korea

3. Data

4. Estimation Method

5. Results

6. Intensity Analysis

7. Conclusion

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