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Democracy and Demography: Societal Effects of Fertility Limits on Local Leaders

Chakravarty, Abhishek and Anukriti, S (2016) Democracy and Demography: Societal Effects of Fertility Limits on Local Leaders. Working Paper. University of Essex. (Submitted)


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We investigate whether restricting elected leadership positions to candidates with “desirable” characteristics leads to society-wide adoption of those characteristics in a low-income democracy with high political participation. Exploiting quasi-experimental variation in fertility limits imposed on village council members in India to curb population growth, we find that rural couples significantly decreased fertility in response. Socially disadvantaged families exhibit the greatest reduction in marginal fertility immediately following the passage of these limits, but the decline in the long-run “stock” of children is more evenly spread across socioeconomic groups. The limits however also increased the already male-biased sex ratio at birth in castes with strong son preference. Therefore, while restricting access to elected office may aid in achieving social objectives, it can also worsen inequality.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Abhishek Chakravarty
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2016 12:29
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2016 12:29

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