India has found an innovative and provocative way to address one of its biggest challenges. It intends to pay for girls.The government plans to offer as much as $5,000 to poor families to give birth to girls and raise them. The aim is to reduce a cultural preference for boys that’s throwing the nation’s gender balance out of whack and threatening the long-term outlook for Asia’s third-largest economy.
Sex-ratio imbalances also are a growing problem in China, where sons are often preferred over daughters. The concern goes beyond young men with no prospects of finding mates in the decades ahead. Economists say the gap may undermine Asian growth and productivity, and lead to bigger budget deficits.