DONDENA Seminar Series FALL 21/11/2022


Missing Women in Colonial India


 We construct novel data on female population shares by age, district, and religion in South Asia from 1881 to 1931. Sex ratios skew male in Northern India and are more balanced in Southern and Eastern India, including Burma. Male-biased sex ratios emerge most visibly after age 10, and this is not specific to any one region, religion, or time period. Sikhs have the most male-biased sex ratios, followed by Hindus, Muslims, and Jains. The female share correlates across religious groups within districts. Evidence that sex ratios correlate with suitability for wheat and rice is weaker than suggested by the existing literature.


Bishnupriya Gupta is Professor in Economics at the University of Warwick and has held positions at the London School of Economics, the Delhi School of Economics and the University of St. Andrews, and visiting positions at the Center of Economic Research in Tilburg and the University of Alicante.

Please note that the seminar will be in a hybrid format (presence + Zoom meetings at the following link: