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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Deininger, Klaus & Goyal, Aparajita & Nagarajan, Hari, 2010. "Inheritance law reform and women's access to capital : evidence from India's Hindu succession act," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5338, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5338
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    1. Borttagen diskriminering av kvinnor
      by Niclas Berggren in Nonicoclolasos on 2010-12-13 09:37:40

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    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:95:y:2017:i:c:p:43-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Gajigo, Ousman, 2015. "Strengthening Economic Rights and Women’s Occupational Choice: The Impact of Reforming Ethiopia’s Family Law," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 260-273.
    3. Ann-Sofie Isaksson, 2015. "Unequal Property Rights: A Study of Land Right Inequalities in Rwanda," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 60-83, March.
    4. Roy, Sanchari, 2011. "Empowering Women: Inheritance Rights and Female Education in India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 46, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.
    6. 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.
    7. Doss, Cheryl, 2013. "Intrahousehold bargaining and resource allocation in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6337, The World Bank.
    8. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

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