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Suicide and property rights in India

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  • Anderson, Siwan
  • Genicot, Garance

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of female property rights on male and female suicide rates in India. Using state level variation in legal changes to women's property rights, we show that better property rights for women are associated with a decrease in the difference between female and male suicide rates, but an increase in both male and female suicides. We conjecture that increasing female property rights increased conflict within household and this increased conflict resulted in more suicides among both men and women in India. Using individual level data on domestic violence we find evidence that increased property rights for women did increase the incidence of wife beating in India. A model of intra-household bargaining with asymmetric information and costly conflict is consistent with these findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Siwan & Genicot, Garance, 2015. "Suicide and property rights in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 64-78.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:114:y:2015:i:c:p:64-78
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2014.11.004
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    Cited by:

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    2. Lambert, Sylvie & Ravallion, Martin & van de Walle, Dominique, 2014. "Intergenerational mobility and interpersonal inequality in an African economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 327-344.
    3. Deschênes, Sarah & Dumas, Christelle & Lambert, Sylvie, 2020. "Household resources and individual strategies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    4. Castañeda Dower, Paul & Pfutze, Tobias, 2020. "Land titles and violent conflict in rural Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    5. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Roberto Castro & Juan S. Morales, 2015. "Conditional Cash Transfers for Women and Spousal Violence: Evidence of the Long-Term Relationship from the Oportunidades Program in Rural Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 91600, Inter-American Development Bank.
    6. Gustavo J Bobonis & Roberto Castro & Juan S Morales, 2020. "Legal Reforms, Conditional Cash Transfers, and Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers tecipa-678, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    7. Bhalotra, Sonia & Chakravarty, Abhishek & Gulesci, Selim, 2020. "The price of gold: Dowry and death in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    8. Astghik Mavisakalyan & Anu Rammohan, 2021. "Female autonomy in household decision-making and intimate partner violence: evidence from Pakistan," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 255-280, March.
    9. Jean-Philippe Platteau & Guilia Camilotti & Emmanuelle Auriol, 2017. "Eradicating women-hurting customs: What role for social engineering?," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2017-145, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Guirkinger, Catherine & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2019. "The dynamics of family systems: lessons from past and present times," CEPR Discussion Papers 13570, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Menon, Seetha, 2020. "The effect of marital endowments on domestic violence in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    12. Heath, Rachel & Tan, Xu, 2018. "Worth fighting for: Daughters improve their mothers' autonomy in South Asia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 255-271.
    13. Trinidad Beleche, 2019. "Domestic violence laws and suicide in Mexico," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 229-248, March.
    14. Sonia Bhalotra & Abhishek Chakravarty & Dilip Mookherjee & Francisco J. Pino, 2019. "Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 205-237, April.
    15. Selim Gulesci, 2017. "Forced migration and attitudes towards domestic violence: Evidence from Turkey," WIDER Working Paper Series 110, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    16. Sofia Amaral, 2015. "Do Improved Property Rights Decrease Violence Against Women in India?," Discussion Papers 15-10, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    17. Margaux Suteau, 2020. "Inheritance Rights and Women's Empowerment in the Labor and Marriage Markets," THEMA Working Papers 2020-17, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    18. Makino, Momoe, 2015. "Better than nothing? : dowry in the absence of the legal protection of women's inheritance rights," IDE Discussion Papers 537, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    19. Bobonis, Gustavo J. & Castro, Roberto & Morales, Juan S., 2018. "Conditional Cash Transfers for Women and Spousal Violence: Evidence of the Long-Term Relationship from the Oportunidades Program in Rural Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7267, Inter-American Development Bank.
    20. Momoe Makino, 2019. "Dowry in the absence of the legal protection of women’s inheritance rights," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 287-321, March.
    21. Bhalotra, Sonia & Brulé, Rachel & Roy, Sanchari, 2020. "Women's inheritance rights reform and the preference for sons in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    22. Jean-Marie Baland & Roberta Ziparo, 2017. "Intra-household bargaining in poor countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 108, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    23. Hawley, Zackary & Miranda, Juan José & Sawyer, W. Charles, 2018. "Land values, property rights, and home ownership: Implications for property taxation in Peru," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 38-47.
    24. Kudo, Yuya, 2021. "Does criminalizing discriminatory cultural practices improve women’s welfare? A simple model of Levirate marriage in Africa," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 199(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Suicide; Inheritance; Property rights; Conflict;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • K36 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Family and Personal Law
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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