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Empowering Women? Inheritance Rights, Female Education and Dowry Payments in India

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-251
Early online date9 Jan 2015
Accepted/In press30 Dec 2014
E-pub ahead of print9 Jan 2015
PublishedMay 2015


King's Authors


This paper examines the impact of gender-progressive reforms to the inheritance law in India on women's outcomes. Despite stipulating that daughters would have equal shares as sons in ancestral property, I find that the reform failed to increase the actual likelihood of women inheriting property. Instead, parents appear to be “gifting” their share of land to their sons in order to circumvent the law. However, parents also appear to be compensating their daughters for such disinheritance by giving them alternative transfers in the form of either higher dowries or more education following the reform.

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