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Gender and Identity in Developing Economies
Friday, Jan. 4, 2019
12:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Association for the Study of Generosity in Economics & International Association for Feminist Economics
University of Notre Dame
Religion and Abortion: The Role of Politician Identity
Leveraging close elections to generate quasi-random variation in the religious identity of state legislators in India, we find less male-biased sex ratios at birth in districts with Muslim legislators, and a corresponding increase in fertility. Our evidence suggests that the primary driver of this effect may be a stronger religious aversion to abortion among Muslims compared with Hindus, resulting in lower sex-selective abortion. We find no evidence of greater postnatal neglect of girls once more girls are born, and some suggestive evidence that Muslim legislators are more effective in enforcing the law against foetal sex determination.
Female Circumcision and the Incentive Compatibility of the Marriage Contract
This paper will provide new evidence on the role of female circumcision in developing economies, and particularly on its interaction with incentive compatibility in marriage contracts. Both circumcision and incentive compatibility in marriage contracts have received attention in prior work; our paper will shed new light on these topics.
The Costs of Reduced Reproductive Potential: Evidence from Female Sterilization in India
Given the central role of reproduction within marriage, how does a permanent decline in a married woman’s ability to have children affect her wellbeing? I seek to answer this question in the context of India where the family planning program relies heavily on a permanent contraceptive method for women, namely female sterilization, that is also the most prevalent method globally. I examine how a wife’s sterilization affects spousal violence against her. Using data from India's Demographic Health Surveys and an instrumental variable estimation strategy, I find that sterilization increases the probability that a wife experiences spousal violence by 2 to 4 percentage points. This project sheds light on the hitherto overlooked, negative consequences of a large-scale family planning policy in the second most populous country in the world. It also makes a novel contribution to our understanding of the causes of spousal violence. More generally, it quantifies how important the ability to bear children is for women’s welfare.
University of Illinois
J1 - Demographic Economics