北九州市大手町ビル6階 アジア成長研究所 会議室
Bipasha Maity Professor, Osaka University and Ashoka University
“The Legacy of Female Landlords in India”
Abstract:This paper studies the long term implications of historical female property rights on current development outcomes. We use data on the proportion of female to male rent receivers in districts of colonial India as an indicator of historical relative female landownership and therefore of female property rights. We find that historic patterns of widowhood for women and hence male mortality is a plausible mechanism through which women became owners of property. Districts with greater relative female landownership in the past are found to have greater literacy rate, lower infant mortality, better healthcare for women, higher labour force participation of women, greater reporting of and arrests for crimes committed against women as well as greater women’s autonomy. Greater political representation of women in state legislatures, higher investment in public goods and greater economic role played by women in agriculture appear to be possible mechanisms that could explain how female property rights during colonial time can have long-term effects, particularly on women’s well-being, in modern India.