Missing Girls in Spain


I document extremely son-biased sex ratios at birth among Asian-born parents in Spain. Using data on the universe of registered births in Spain during 2007- 2012, I show that there are 117 boys per 100 girls born to Indian parents, compared with a national average of 107 boys per 100 girls. The difference is even more pronounced at higher parities. Indian parents with one or more previous children have 143 boys per 100 girls (117 for Chinese parents with at least two previous children). These biases are significant even after controlling for a broad range of family characteristics. The most likely mechanism is sex-selective abortions. I find no increase in the sex ratio after the 2010 reform that deregulated abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.