Evening up rights: the rough with the smooth …

Suicide and Property Rights in India by Siwan Anderson, Garance Genicot  –  #19978 (DEV)

This paper studies the impact of female property rights on male and female suicide rates in India. Using state level variation in legal changes to women’s property rights, we show that better property rights for women are associated with a decrease in the difference between female and male suicide rates, but an increase in both male and female suicides.  We conjecture that increasing female property rights increased conflict within household and this increased conflict resulted in more suicides among both men and women in India. Using individual level data on domestic violence we find evidence that increased property rights for women did increase the incidence of wife beating in India.

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13 Responses to Evening up rights: the rough with the smooth …

  1. paul walter says:

    This looks a nasty one. I should go to the link, some thing like this is going to raise so many questions, but have a sinus head and will go to bed after writing this.

    Property rights in India with its vast agglomerations of subcultures..that is going to get all sorts of responses from all sorts of people; from rural shepherds to urban Brahmins, Muslims in Bengal to Sikhs in Kashmir and dozens of other permutations with origins going back millennia, not just centuries.

    Poverty will increase stress as people try to adjust to change, surly resistance of the wife beating sort could be a symptom.

    As a Westerner, I can hope that women and poor people generally in India are dragged clear of the worst excesses of what’s gone before, but need to know what sort of reforms are being implemented, whether these are universal and are referenced against local familiar norms or something derived of Western mores not easily applied in villages thousands of years old out in the countryside.

  2. Patrick says:

    I can answer that last question Paul. Property rights and women’s rights are both very much “derived of Western mores not easily applied in villages thousands of years old out in the countryside”.

    So what?

    Also, poverty smoverty. Increased property rights and increased women’s rights, so permit me to extrapolate that a fortiori increased women’s property rights, are associated with reduced poverty. This is nothing to do with poverty and everything to do with social disruption (i.e. women’s rights!).

    • Nicholas Gruen says:

      That should read “Poverty Schmoverty”.

      It’s all very well misspelling Yiddish words, but when the misspelling intimates leaving out the fun parts of pronouncing them, that’s a different matter altogether. Here at Troppo we take this kind of thing seriously – at the discretion of individual posters.

      Yellow card.

      • paul walter says:

        To be frank, am not sure what his point is, anyway.

        Perhaps he is a schlemiel.

      • Patrick says:

        That does reflect poorly on me indeed. Just not taking things seriously at all. I should have a good hard look at myself. But being fundamentally unserious, I probably won’t!

        • Nicholas Gruen says:

          Here at Troppo we have a deep commitment to everyone taking a good hard look at themselves. It’s in our mission statement. It’s in our DNA. In fact you are not welcome to lurk or post here unless you meet that test. We are also fundamentally generous folk and we can’t believe that you won’t take a good hard look at yourself.

        • Patrick says:

          I’ll dig out the mirror on the wall, I promise.

  3. Tel says:

    In any protection racket, you hand over the property in order to be protected from violence. It’s an economic exchange just like any other.

    Doesn’t make a lot of difference if it’s the Mafia, or the Government, or your husband.

    • Patrick says:

      I could be wrong here, but I would have thought that the number of actors and the number of iterations were material differences.

      • Tel says:

        In principle it makes no difference. Yes, every arrangement is different in the details, and that may well be advantageous to one side or another.

        Haggling over price is work for tradesmen, not us economists.

        • Patrick says:

          Whilst it behoves me to admit my profound ignorance of economics, that sounds wrong. Surely game theory takes both number of actors and iterations as fundamental variables?

          And whilst i don’t know what optimal tax theory is, really, I do know that in a single iteration optimal taxation is killing the goose. And I’m nearly certain that whatever optimal tax is it isn’t that!

        • Tel says:

          The “Von Neumann” style game theory that you generally read about is for two players, although in practice each “player” may be a collective corporate entity or some sort. I agree, this is an over-simplification, but anyhow the analysis commonly goes that way.

          Optimal tax theory would presumably apply (again in principle) to the husband, the Mafia and the government as well. That’s not to say the optimum would land in the same place each time, but the process by which that optimum was found would be similar… and a “Laffer Curve” should exist in all situations.

          I’m not sure why you believe that a “single iteration” is implied in any case.

        • Patrick says:

          I believe rather the opposite, since you ask! I believe that the whole point of Hele theory is multiple interactions which was (half of) my whole objection to your first comment

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