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Journal Article

Women's inheritance rights reform and the preference for sons in India

Authors

Publication date

18 Aug 2018

Summary

We investigate whether legislation of equal inheritance rights for women modifies the historic preference for sons in India, and find that it exacerbates it. Children born after the reform in families with a firstborn daughter are 3.8–4.3 percentage points less likely to be girls, indicating that the reform encouraged female foeticide. We also find that the reform increased excess female infant mortality and son-biased fertility stopping. This suggests that the inheritance reform raised the costs of having daughters, consistent with which we document an increase in stated son preference in fertility post reform. We conclude that this is a case where legal reform was frustrated by persistence of cultural norms. We provide some suggestive evidence of slowly changing patrilocality norms.

Published in

Journal of Development Economics

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2018.08.001

ISSN

16

Subjects

Law And Legislation, Economics, and Childbearing: Fertility

Links

University of Essex Research Repository - http://repository.essex.ac.uk/22951/; University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* - https://lib.essex.ac.uk/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1615959?lang=eng

Notes

Online Early

#525681


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