Property rights and gender bias: evidence from land reform in West Bengal
We examine intra-household gender-differentiated effects of property rights securitisation following West Bengal's tenancy registration program, using two independently gathered datasets. In both samples, higher program implementation increased male child survival rates in families without a firstborn son, but not in those that already have a firstborn male child. We argue this reflects intensified son preference as land rights improve, ostensibly to ensure a male heir to inherit land. Consistent with this, girls with firstborn brothers also experience increased survival, but not girls with firstborn sisters. The gender bias manifests both in infant mortality rates and the sex ratio at birth.
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Volume and page numbers
11 , 205 -237
University of Essex Research Repository - http://repository.essex.ac.uk/23800/