Research

Publications
  1. Bose, Nayana, and Shreyasee Das. 2017. "Women's Inheritance Rights, Household Allocation and Gender Bias." American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 107 (5): 150-153. https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.p20171128
  2. Bose, N. and S. Das. 2017. "Political Reservation for Women and Delivery of Public Works Program." Review of Development Economics, Forthcoming. https://doi.org/10.1111/rode.12336 [pre-publication version]
Working Papers
  • State Rights over Water and Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from the Krishna Basin  [Full Text (Submitted)
Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of intrastate water reallocation on agricultural productivity. Specifically, I look at the 1976 Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal that reallocated the rights of three Indian states over the Krishna River. I exploit district-time variation in access to water to obtain causal effects of water reallocation on crop output and yield. Results suggest that on average, the decision reduces district output by 7.7% and yield by 5.5%. The weak negative net effects of the decision are comprised of productivity gains for the most downstream state, Andhra Pradesh, that are more than offset by the productivity losses for the upstream states Maharashtra and Karnataka. The negative impacts for Maharashtra, pronounced especially during periods of drought, are significant at conventional significance levels. Thus, the 1976 reallocation of state rights over water from the Krishna Basin was redistributive and weakly reduced overall efficiency.
  • The Impact of Temporary Work Guarantee Programs on Children's Education: Evidence from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act from India (with Abhilasha Singh)
Abstract: The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) of 2005 guarantees adult members of rural households to a minimum of 100 days of employment with certain provisions geared specifically towards women. The phase-wise rollout of the program allows us to employ a difference-in-differences strategy to examine the effects on children's education. Using two phases of the District Level of Household and Facility Survey, we find no significant impact of the program on children's education. However, we find suggestive evidence that girls' experience a decrease in completed years of schooling. These results suggest the interplay of two opposing channels. On one hand, the increase in income due to the program could increase children's schooling. On the other hand, the rise in mothers' work and hence an absence from home, may have an adverse effect on children's education, especially for the older children.
Abstract: This paper analyzes the intergenerational effects following from the positive changes in women's inheritance rights. The amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, the law governing inheritance for Hindus, empowered unmarried daughters at the time of the reform to have equal rights to inherit ancestral property as their brothers. We employ a difference-in-differences strategy and exploit the state level variation in a woman's exposure to the reform. Using the Indian Human Development Survey data for rural India, our results indicate that the property rights reform significantly increased women's education between 0.40 and 0.50 years. We find no impact on the education of daughters of women exposed to the reform. On the contrary, we find a negative impact on sons' education. This impact is more prevalent in households with fathers less educated than mothers, where we see a 0.27 standard deviation significant decrease in sons' education. For families where husbands are either equally or more educated than their wives, the sons are not negatively affected. We further explore the role of birth order and the gender composition of children to assess the intergenerational impact of this more gender equal inheritance law.                 
  • Property Rights and Fertility Decisions: Revisiting the Intrahousehold Bargaining Theory" (with Nayana Bose)
Abstract: This paper examines the effects of empowering women with increased rights on their fertility choices. The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act of 2005 extended ancestral property rights to unmarried daughters, however, five southern states in India had already passed the same amendment by 1994. We exploit the variation in timing of the reform across states in India to employ a difference-in-difference strategy. We analyze the impact of the property rights reform on women's lifetime fertility and find that treated women had 0.26 more children than their counterparts. Also, given the cultural preference for boys that has led to the case of "missing women" in India, we examine the sex-ratio of children to assess whether households impacted by the reform continue to exhibit "boy preference". We find that the sex-ratio (of girls to boys) decreased, suggesting that treated mothers do not use their bargaining power to distribute resources equitably among all her children; in fact, they provide more support to the boy child and on average, increase their neglect towards the girl child.
  •  Revisiting Women's Empowerment in the context of Female Political Participation (with Upasak Das)
Abstract: Does women's empowerment depend on her peers' political participation? To answer this question, we look at women's autonomy in the context of the degree of women's political participation in her community. Additionally, studies have also suggested that the gender of the head of the household could also affect her empowerment. We create an index of the degree of women's political participation and interact it with the gender of the head of the household. We are thus able to evaluate her autonomy in her household and extend this study to evaluate her children's education and health outcomes. Our paper adds to this literature by examining the role of political participation on disadvantaged and minority groups in conjunction with the decision-makers of the household.


          Works in Progress
  • Improved sanitation and its role in gender equality: Evidence from the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan (with Nayana Bose & Upasak Das) [working title]
  • The Role of Polygamy in Family Size and Fertility Decisions (with Nayana Bose)
         Permanent Working Paper