The right to work and to live: The implications of India's NREGS program for missing women. By: Chaure, Trupti; Hicks, Daniel. Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell). Sep2021, p1. 24p.

Limited economic opportunity for women reduces their household bargaining power and the economic value of daughters, amplifying son preference. This paper studies India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), the largest workfare program in the world.In a setting where the gender gap in employment and wages are sizeable, NREGS represented both an income shock and a large relative improvement in the labor market for women. We use the staggered rollout of NREGS to show that districts that implemented the program earlier experienced an improvement in child sex ratios in favor of girls.We find that impacts exist only in rural areas, not in the urban counterparts of the same district, where NREGS did not operate. Furthermore, effects are larger in middle‐income and upper income districts and districts with the most skewed initial sex ratios, results which are inconsistent with an alternative selection story. Finally, the effects appear only for rural youth sex ratios, not for adult sex ratios, suggesting endogenous migration is not driving the results.Our results suggest that the adoption of NREGS may have decreased pressures associated with sex selection in India, lessening skewed sex ratios in rural areas.