What Does the Data Tell Us?

With the right to inherit, daughters gain:

Increased autonomy in marriage1

Greater educational attainment2,3,4,5

Improved labor participation4

Increased household bargaining power5

  1. Roy, S. (2008). Female Empowerment Through Inheritance Rights: Evidence from India, Department of Economics, London School of Economics, September 6, 2008.
  2. Deninger, K., Goyal, A., & Nagarajan, H. (2013). Women’s inheritance rights and the intergenerational transmission of resources in India. The Journal of Human Resources, 48(1). 114-141.
  3. Roy, S. (2005). Empowering women? Inheritance rights, female education and dowry payments in India. Journal of Development Economics, 114. 233-51.
  4. Sapkal, R. (2016). From Mother to Daughter: Does Equal Inheritance Property Laws Reform Improve Female Labor Supply and Educational Attainments in India? Asian Journal of Law and Economics, 8(1).
  5. Harari, M. (2016). Women’s inheritance rights and bargaining power: evidence from Kenya. The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

What Does the Data Tell Us?

With the right to inherit, women gain:

Increased joint decision-making with husband1 

Increased intra-household bargaining power, affecting: 

  • Greater labor force participation3
  • Increase in educational attainment3,4
  • Decrease in female circumcision4
  • Delay in marriage and childbearing4

Higher investment in areas where widows inherit agricultural land2 

Increased financial independence including: 

  • More non-agricultural self-employment5
  • Higher savings rates5
  • Higher individual and household expenditures5

Higher investment in areas where widows inherit agricultural land2 

  1. Mokerjee, S. (2017). Gender-neutral inheritance laws, family structure, and women’s status in India. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8017.
  2. Dillon, B. & Voena, A. (2017). Inheritance Customs and Agricultural Investment (January 18, 2017).
  3. Sapkal, R. (2016). From Mother to Daughter: Does Equal Inheritance Property Laws Reform Improve Female Labor Supply and Educational Attainments in India? Asian Journal of Law and Economics, 8(1).
  4. Harari, M. (2016). Women’s inheritance rights and bargaining power: evidence from Kenya. The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Peterman, A. (2011). Women’s Property Rights and Gendered Policies: Implications for Women’s Long-term Welfare in Rural Tanzania, The Journal of Development Studies, 47:1, 1-30.