Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal

56 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2016

See all articles by Sonia R. Bhalotra

Sonia R. Bhalotra

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abhishek Chakravarty

University of Essex - Department of Economics

Dilip Mookherjee

Boston University - Department of Economics

Francisco Pino

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Bhalotra, Sonia R. and Chakravarty, Abhishek and Mookherjee, Dilip and Pino, Francisco, Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9930. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2786014

Sonia R. Bhalotra (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Abhishek Chakravarty

University of Essex - Department of Economics ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Dilip Mookherjee

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-4392 (Phone)
617-353-4143 (Fax)

Francisco Pino

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium

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