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The Bargaining Power of Missing Women: Evidence from a Sanitation Campaign in India

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  • Stopnitzky, Yaniv

Abstract

Female bargaining power in rural Haryana, as in much of northern India, is constrained by widespread discrimination against women. In recent years, however, women successfully demand private sanitation facilities from potential husbands as a precondition for marriage. I study this manifestation of bargaining power by modeling latrine adoption as an investment that males can make to improve their desirability on the marriage market, and I show that increasing proportions of females with strong sanitation preferences drive male investment in toilets. Moreover, I demonstrate women’s ability to secure latrines increases when they are relatively scarce in a marriage market. I test these predictions empirically by studying a sanitation program in Haryana, India, known colloquially as “No Toilet, No Bride”. Using a triple difference empirical strategy based on households with and without marriageable boys, in Haryana and comparison states, before and after program exposure, I provide evidence that male investment in sanitation increased by 15% due to the program. Further, the program effect is four times larger in marriage markets where women are scarce (26%) as compared to marriage markets where women are abundant (6%). These results suggest the relative scarcity of women in Haryana has, conditional on women surviving to marriageable age, improved the ability of the remaining women to secure valuable goods.

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  • Stopnitzky, Yaniv, 2012. "The Bargaining Power of Missing Women: Evidence from a Sanitation Campaign in India," MPRA Paper 37841, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37841
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    Cited by:

    1. Britta Augsburg & Paul Rodríguez-Lesmes, 2015. "Sanitation dynamics: toilet acquisition and its economic and social implications," IFS Working Papers W15/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. Simon Chang & Rachel Connelly & Ping Ma, 2016. "What Will You Do If I Say ‘I Do’?: The Effect of the Sex Ratio on Time Use within Taiwanese Married Couples," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 35(4), pages 471-500, August.
    3. Parimita Routray & Belen Torondel & Thomas Clasen & Wolf-Peter Schmidt, 2017. "Women's role in sanitation decision making in rural coastal Odisha, India," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(5), pages 1-17, May.
    4. S. Anukriti, 2013. "The Fertility-Sex Ratio Tradeoff: Unintended Consequences of Financial Incentives," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 827, Boston College Department of Economics.
    5. Klaus Deininger & Songqing Jin & Hari K. Nagarajan & Fang Xia, 2019. "Inheritance Law Reform, Empowerment, and Human Capital Accumulation: Second-Generation Effects from India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(12), pages 2549-2571, December.
    6. Anukriti, S & Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Tam, Hiu, 2016. "On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: New Evidence on Abortion, Fertility, and Parental Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 10271, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Sahoo, Krushna Chandra & Hulland, Kristyna R.S. & Caruso, Bethany A. & Swain, Rojalin & Freeman, Matthew C. & Panigrahi, Pinaki & Dreibelbis, Robert, 2015. "Sanitation-related psychosocial stress: A grounded theory study of women across the life-course in Odisha, India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 80-89.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    intrahousehold bargaining; marriage market; sex ratio; sanitation; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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