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Islamic inheritance law, son preference and fertility behavior of Muslim couples in Indonesia

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  • Carranza, Eliana

Abstract

This paper examines whether the son preference and fertility behavior of Muslim couples respond to the risk of inheritance expropriation by their extended family. According to traditional Islamic inheritance principles, only the son of a deceased man can exclude his male agnates from inheritance and preserve his estate within the nuclear household. The paper exploits cross-sectional and time variation in the application of the Islamic inheritance exclusion rule in Indonesia: between Muslim and non-Muslim populations affected by different legal systems, across men with different sibling sex composition, and before and after a change in Islamic law that allowed female children to exclude male relatives. The analysis finds that Muslim couples more affected by the exclusion rule exhibit stronger son preference, practice sex-differential fertility stopping, attain a higher proportion of sons, and have larger families than non-Muslims or Muslims for whom the exclusion rule is less binding.

Suggested Citation

  • Carranza, Eliana, 2012. "Islamic inheritance law, son preference and fertility behavior of Muslim couples in Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5972, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5972
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    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2012/02/21/000158349_20120221114635/Rendered/PDF/WPS5972.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eric Jensen, 1996. "The fertility impact of alternative family planning distribution channels in Indonesia," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 33(2), pages 153-165, May.
    2. Borooah, Vani & Do, Quy-Toan & Iyer, Sriya & Joshi, Shareen, 2009. "Missing women and India's religious demography," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5096, The World Bank.
    3. Evelyn Lehrer, 1996. "Religion as a determinant of marital fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(2), pages 173-196, June.
    4. A. Dharmalingam & S. Morgan, 2004. "Pervasive Muslim-Hindu fertility differences in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(3), pages 529-545, August.
    5. Deon Filmer & Jed Friedman & Norbert Schady, 2009. "Development, Modernization, and Childbearing: The Role of Family Sex Composition," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 23(3), pages 371-398, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Lambert, Sylvie & Rossi, Pauline, 2016. "Sons as widowhood insurance: Evidence from Senegal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 113-127.
    2. Jean-Philippe Platteau & Guilia Camilotti & Emmanuelle Auriol, 2017. "Eradicating women-hurting customs: What role for social engineering?," WIDER Working Paper Series 145, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. repec:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:166-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Eliana La Ferrara & Annamaria Milazzo, 2017. "Customary Norms, Inheritance, and Human Capital: Evidence from a Reform of the Matrilineal System in Ghana," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 166-185, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Population Policies; Gender and Law; Population&Development; Adolescent Health; Social Inclusion&Institutions;

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