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Seeing is believing- can increasing the number of female leaders reduce sex selection in rural India?

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  • Kalsi, Priti

Abstract

Cultural values regarding gender roles encourage gender discrimination and the practice of sex selection. Increasing political and work force participation of women challenges such norms. Exploiting the implementation of an Indian law that required one-third of local political seats to be reserved for women, I investigate the impact of female leadership on sex selection in rural India. I find an increase in the survival of higher birth order girls if political seats at the local level have been reserved for women. I argue that the likely underlying mechanism is a change in beliefs due to exposure to female leaders.

Suggested Citation

  • Kalsi, Priti, 2017. "Seeing is believing- can increasing the number of female leaders reduce sex selection in rural India?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 1-18.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:126:y:2017:i:c:p:1-18
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.12.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lori Beaman & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo & Rohini Pande & Petia Topalova, 2009. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1497-1540.
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    5. Ghani, Ejaz & Kerr, William R. & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2014. "Political reservations and women's entrepreneurship in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 138-153.
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    7. Sinha, Nistha & Yoong, Joanne, 2009. "Long-term financial incentives and investment in daughters : evidence from conditional cash transfers in north India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4860, The World Bank.
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    9. Priti Kalsi, 2015. "Abortion Legalization, Sex Selection, and Female University Enrollment in Taiwan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(1), pages 163-185.
    10. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras, 2014. "Health and the Political Agency of Women," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 164-197, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2018. "Religion and Abortion: The Role of Politician Identity," IZA Discussion Papers 11292, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:106:y:2018:i:c:p:220-237 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Fletcher, Erin K. & Pande, Rohini & Troyer Moore, Charity, 2017. "Women and Work in India: Descriptive Evidence and a Review of Potential Policies," Working Paper Series rwp18-004, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    4. Carolina Castilla, 2017. "Political role models, child marriage, and women’s autonomy over marriage in India," WIDER Working Paper Series 121, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sex selection; Female politicians; Gender-discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General

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