Inheritance Law Reform and Women's Access to Capital: Evidence from India's Hindu Succession Act

43 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Klaus Deininger

Klaus Deininger

World Bank - Development Economics Group (DEC); World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Aparajita Goyal

World Bank

Hari Nagarajan

Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA)

Date Written: June 1, 2010

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.

Keywords: Gender and Law, Population Policies, Gender and Health, Population & Development, Economic Theory & Research

Suggested Citation

Deininger, Klaus and Goyal, Aparajita and Nagarajan, Hari, Inheritance Law Reform and Women's Access to Capital: Evidence from India's Hindu Succession Act (June 1, 2010). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5338. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1625154

Klaus Deininger (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Economics Group (DEC) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/kdeininger

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Aparajita Goyal

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Hari Nagarajan

Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) ( email )

Anand - 388 001
India

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.irma.ac.in/ifaculty/facultydetails.php?fid=428

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