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dc.contributor.advisorHeath, Rachel M
dc.contributor.authorSaha, Jagori
dc.date.accessioned2019-02-22T17:04:47Z
dc.date.available2019-02-22T17:04:47Z
dc.date.submitted2018
dc.identifier.otherSaha_washington_0250E_19439.pdf
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1773/43360
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph.D.)--University of Washington, 2018
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation is a collection of three essays that explore the effects of India's development policies and economic growth on women's outcomes, ranging from their mortality to quality of marriage. The first chapter estimates the effect of access to credit on the probability of marriage of women and men in rural India. In societies where dowry payments are customary, an increase in access to credit can potentially increase the probability of marriage of girls either through an increase in income or consumption smoothing. Using a formal bank branch expansion in rural India and an instrumental variables approach, I find the following: First, the probability of marriage increases for girls but does not change for boys in response to an increase in formal banking; Second, the effect of formal bank branch expansion on the probability of marriage of daughters is concentrated during the years that households do not experience a positive agricultural income shock; Third, consistent with this result of a tighter ``marriage squeeze", that is, there are more potential brides in the marriage market than potential grooms, an increase in per capita rural bank branches also leads to an increase in dowry payments and women's distance of marriage migration. The marriage market results are further supported by the following findings: (a) An increase in per capita rural bank branches increases the probability of school enrollment of young girls but fails to increase the probability of school enrollment of older girls who are at the highest risk of marriage; (b) An increase in per capita rural bank branches decreases labor participation of women, and therefore, fails to increase the value of women's labor in a household. The second chapter, which is a joint work with Joshua D. Merfeld, revisits the relationship between agricultural productivity shocks and excess female mortality in India and focuses on investigating how this relationship changes when households have access to employment opportunities outside of agriculture. When household's preference for son coincides with adverse income shocks, in order to smooth consumption overtime, households tend to disproportionately reduce care (prenatal or postnatal) for their female children, which leads to excess female child mortality. Building on previous work \citep{rose1999consumption}, we show that agricultural productivity shocks in rural India, proxied by rainfall, continue to be an important predictor of the sex of an infant: the sex-ratio of infants is more balanced in good rainfall years than in poor rainfall years. In addition, we show that the effect of rainfall during the year of birth on height-for-age is stronger for girls than for boys. We then show that a guaranteed rural workfare program in India, that provides labor opportunities outside of agriculture, attenuates the relationship between rainfall and both the sex ratio and height-for-age for girls. We also show that the negative relationship between agricultural productivity shocks (rainfall) and the number of dowry deaths \citep{sekhri2014dowry} also dissipates after the introduction of the workfare program. The third chapter, which is a joint work with Rachel M. Heath, evaluates the effect of woman's job opportunities on their ability to choose their own spouse and their eventual marriage quality. We find that an increase in women's job opportunities during their year of marriage increases their ability to chose their spouse independently by 28\% and also the likelihood that they have had some interaction with their spouse prior to marriage. Women are more likely to marry men who are more educated, are closer to their age, and grew up in a different village/town in response to a positive female labor demand shock. Lastly, we find that current female labor demand shocks are a stronger determinant of women's household bargaining power compared to female labor demand shocks at the time of marriage.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.rightsnone
dc.subjectIndia
dc.subjectMarriage
dc.subjectMortality
dc.subjectWomen
dc.subjectEconomics
dc.subject.otherEconomics
dc.titleConsequences of Economic Development on Women's Lives in India
dc.typeThesis
dc.embargo.termsOpen Access


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