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Inheritance law reform and women's access to capital : evidence from India's Hindu succession act

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  • Deininger, Klaus
  • Goyal, Aparajita
  • Nagarajan, Hari

Abstract

This paper examines whether and to what extent amendments in inheritance legislation impact women's physical and human capital investments, using disaggregated household level data from India. The authors use inheritance patterns over three generations of individuals to assess the impact of changes in the Hindu Succession Act that grant daughters equal coparcenary birth rights in joint family property that were denied to daughters in the past. The causal effect is isolated by exploiting the variation in the timing of father's death to compare within household bequests of land given to sons and daughters in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. The analysis shows that the amendment significantly increased daughters'likelihood to inherit land, but that even after the amendment substantial bias persists. The results also indicate a robust increase in educational attainment of daughters, suggesting an alternative channel of wealth transfer.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5338.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5338

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Related research

Keywords: Gender and Law; Population Policies; Gender and Health; Population&Development; Economic Theory&Research;

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  1. Borttagen diskriminering av kvinnor
    by Niclas Berggren in Nonicoclolasos on 2010-12-13 03:37:40
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Cited by:
  1. Siwan Anderson & Garance Genicot, 2012. "Suicide and Property Rights in India," Working Papers id:5080, eSocialSciences.
  2. James Fenske, 2012. "African Polygamy: Past and Present," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2012-20, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Gajigo, Ousman, 2013. "Strengthening economic rights and women's occupational choice : the impact of reforming Ethiopia's family law," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6695, The World Bank.
  4. Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Hasan, Tazeen & Rusu, Anca Bogdana, 2013. "Women's legal rights over 50 years : what is the impact of reform ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6617, The World Bank.
  5. Scharf, Kimberley, 2011. "Scale Scale Economies in Nonprofit Provision, Technology Adoption and Entry," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 45, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  6. van den Bold, Mara & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Gillespie, Stuart, 2013. "Women’s empowerment and nutrition: An evidence review:," IFPRI discussion papers 1294, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie, 2011. "Unequal Property Rights: A study of land right inequalities in Rwanda," Working Papers in Economics 507, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  8. Doss, Cheryl, 2013. "Intrahousehold bargaining and resource allocation in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6337, The World Bank.
  9. David Fielding, 2013. "How Much Does Women's Empowerment Influence their Wellbeing? Evidence from Africa," Working Papers 1307, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2013.

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