Mother-In-Law and Son Preference in India
In India, the mother-in-law is all powerful. At least they are often portrayed as such in Indian popular culture. Similarly, in the socio-economic literature, the influence of the Indian mother-in-law is often taken for granted. However, most of the empirical evidence relies on qualitative data or on small samples. Looking at stated son preference and using a nationally representative dataset (NFHS-3), we show that, indeed, mothers-in-law have an influence on their daughter-in-law, everything else constant. This influence comes mostly from socialization rather than from coercion and selection within the marriage market.
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