Another one from the news

There’s a really interesting article in Slate by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (the authors of Freakonomics) about female births and heptatitis B. The disproportionate number of male births in some Asian countries has been attributed to causes such as selective abortion and infanticide. But, as explained in the paper “Hepatitis B and the Case of the Missing Women”, by Harvard Economics graduate student Emily Oster, Hepatitis B infection rates actually explain a lot of the discrepancy. Pregnant women who have Hepatitis B are more likely to bear sons than daughters, and Hepatitis B is more common in those parts of the world where the proportion of male births is so high. Pretty cool.

Again, though, the reason I’m writing about the article doesn’t have much to do with its subject matter. What struck me more than anything were the article’s opening sentences:
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