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Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal

Bhalotra, Sonia and Chakravarty, Abhishek and Mookherjee, Dilip and Francisco, Pino (2019) 'Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal.' American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 11 (2). pp. 205-237. ISSN 1945-7782

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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 first-born son, but not in those that already have a first-born 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 first-born brothers also experience increased survival, but not girls with first-born sisters. The gender bias manifests both in infant mortality rates, and the sex ratio at birth.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: property rights; land reform; gender; infant mortality; sex ratio; fertility
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2019 17:08
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2022 19:30

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