Women’s Right to Property and the Quantity-Quality Trade-Off of Children: Evidence From India

62 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2022 Last revised: 1 Feb 2022

See all articles by Vaidehi Tandel

Vaidehi Tandel

The University of Manchester

Arnab Dutta

The University of Hong Kong - Department of Real Estate and Construction

Sahil Gandhi

The University of Manchester

Ashwini Narayanan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 21, 2022

Abstract

We study the effects of a positive wealth shock due to a series of state and federal reforms that granted equal inheritance rights to Indian women on the quantity and quality of children and son preference. Using a difference-in-differences methodology, we find that women who were affected by the state reforms had 0.35 more children. The increase in the number of sons born to treated women was higher than the number of daughters. To assess the federal reform we use a panel data of women and a novel treatment based on the timing of their father’s death. We find that women affected by the reform had on average 0.22 fewer children. While the federal reform had no effect on the number of daughters born to this group, the number of sons born declined. Women affected by the federal reform had taller children whereas state reforms did not have any effect on children’s heights. Thus, we see evidence that granting property rights to women could potentially affect their fertility decisions, improve health outcomes of children, and mitigate gender inequality.

Suggested Citation

Tandel, Vaidehi and Dutta, Arnab and Gandhi, Sahil and Narayanan, Ashwini, Women’s Right to Property and the Quantity-Quality Trade-Off of Children: Evidence From India (January 21, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4014600 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4014600

Vaidehi Tandel

The University of Manchester ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, N/A M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Arnab Dutta

The University of Hong Kong - Department of Real Estate and Construction ( email )

Hong Kong
China

Sahil Gandhi (Contact Author)

The University of Manchester ( email )

Booth St West
Manchester, N/A M15 6PB
United Kingdom

Ashwini Narayanan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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