Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal
56 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2016
While land reforms are typically pursued in order to raise productivity and reduce inequality across households, an unintended consequence may be increased within-household gender inequality. We analyse a tenancy registration programme in West Bengal, and find that it increased child survival and reduced fertility. However, we also find that it intensified son preference in families without a first-born son to inherit the land title. These families exhibit no reduction in fertility, an increase in the probability that a subsequent birth is male, and a substantial increase in the survival advantage of subsequent sons over daughters.
Keywords: land reform, property rights, gender, infant mortality, sex ratio, fertility
JEL Classification: I14, I24, J71, O15
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