Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy
Paper Abstract: Despite strong recent economic growth, gender inequality remains a major concern for India. Nandi’s paper examines the effectiveness of a public policy geared towards the reduction of gender inequality. The national Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques (PNDT) Act of 1994, implemented in 1996, banned sex-selective abortions in the Indian states. Although demographers frequently mention the futility of the Act, this paper is among the first to evaluate the law using a treatment-effect type analysis of the pre-ban and post-ban periods. Using village-level and town-level longitudinal data from the 1991 and 2001 censuses, along with household survey data from other sources, Nandi finds a significantly positive impact of the PNDT Act on the female-to-male juvenile sex ratio. In the possible absence of the PNDT Act, Nandi finds that the juvenile sex ratio would have declined by another 16-20 points.