5372015-10-01 , Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO)
The practice of dowry is often thought to be the root cause of the unequal treatment of women in India. For women without inheritance rights, however, dowry may function as their only source of protection. Using a nationwide dataset and exploiting a natural experimental situation, this study explores the effects of dowry on women's empowerment in India, a society where women do not have inheritance rights. In such a society, dowry seems to enhance women's status in the marital household. The effects reverse when women have equal inheritance rights as their brothers. Empirical analysis suggests that the outright ban on dowry that ignores the context may not necessarily benefit women.
JEL:J12 - Marriage; JEL:J16 - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination JEL:K11 - Property Law JEL:N35 - Asia including Middle East JEL:Z13 - Social Norms and Social Capital; Social Networks India Women Social customs Property law Marriage Dowry Women’s empowerment Inheritance rights Amendment
Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO)
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