Income security and the persistence of son preference : new approaches


Thèse de socio-démographie préparée par TAFURO Sara sous la direction de Christophe GUILMOTO et de Sébastien Lechevalier. La thèse a été soutenue le 13 décembre 2021, à Université de Paris (en visio).

Axe de recherche : Axe 1 - Santé, vulnérabilités et relations de genre au Sud

Résumé du projet de thèse

This thesis is the result of an extensive, five-year-long work analyzing the economic underpinnings of son preference and patrilineal family arrangements. Common to various countries across the globe, these cultural features are in fact at the basis of widespread practices of discrimination against daughters and of millions of unborn women worldwide, mostly in India and China.
The main contribution of this work lies in rethinking the economic reasons for wanting sons. In its research hypothesis, these are indeed not limited to old-age support, but are due to a broader range of income shocks against which sons can potentially protect their parents : among others, illness, unemployment, and most notably income volatility due to vulnerable employment.
In an attempt to highlight dynamics that are credibly valid at the global level, this work adopts a cross-country approach. It also combines quantitative and qualitative analyses, as well as concepts and tools which are proper to demography, economics, sociology and anthropology.


Gender, Insurance, Female labor, Son preference.

Zone géographique

Caucasus, India.

  • Calendrier

 Début : Octobre 2016
 Fin : Décembre 2021