The impact of the stopping rule on sex ratio of last births in vietnam

Bang Nguyen Pham*, Timothy Adair, Peter S. Hill, Chalapati Rao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the hypothesis that the stopping rule-a traditional postnatal sex selection method where couples decide to cease childbearing once they bear a son-plays a role in high sex ratio of last births (SRLB). The study develops a theoretical framework to demonstrate the operation of the stopping rule in a context of son preference. This framework was used to demonstrate the impact of the stopping rule on the SRLB in Vietnam, using data from the Population Change Survey 2006. The SRLB of Vietnam was high at the level of 130 in the period 1970-2006, and particularly in the period 1986-1995, when sex-selective abortion was not available. Women were 21% more likely to stop childbearing after a male birth compared with a female birth. The SRLB was highest at parity 2 (138.7), particularly in rural areas (153.5), and extremely high (181.9) when the previous birth was female. Given the declining fertility, the stopping rule has a potential synergistic effect with sex-selective abortion to accentuate a trend of one-son families in the population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-196
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Biosocial Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


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